Rubio: Immigration bill guarantees legalization

Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that illegal immigrants will get legal status no matter what happens with border security, but said the Senate will have to stiffen enforcement in order to win the 60 votes needed to pass his bill through his chamber.

“Nobody is talking here about preventing legalization. Legalization will take place,” Mr. Rubio told Univision in an interview scheduled to air Sunday.

“First comes legalization, then comes this border security measure and then comes the permanent residency process. What we are talking about here is the permanent residency system,” the Florida Republican said, according to the English translation of the interview.

“Regarding legalization, a vast majority of my colleagues have already accepted that: that it must take place and that it must start at the same time we start with what has to do with security. That is not conditional. Legalization is not conditional.”

As one of the eight authors of the immigration bill, Mr. Rubio is fighting to keep it on track, arguing that it does not have the support to clear a filibuster in the Senate right now. But he said it could earn that support if his colleagues will do more to specify where security will be enhanced.

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