The Christian Post has the story:
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida laid out his reform plan to “modernize” the nation’s “outdated” immigration system even as President Barack Obama has yet to act on his pledge to come out with his proposal.
Rubio, son of Cuban immigrants, has focused his plan on expanding the skilled workforce and supporting agriculture, which he says will help the U.S. economy.
The senator, who is considered a likely 2016 presidential candidate, told Reuters on Saturday that his plan would make it easier for skilled engineers and seasonal farm workers to immigrate, apart from strengthening border enforcement and immigration laws.
Rubio, who was elected in 2010 to his first U.S. Senate term, wants to deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country by allowing them to “earn” a working permit, and eventually citizenship.
“I don’t think that in the 21st century we can continue to have an immigration system where only 6.5 percent of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill,” he said, adding that the nation should move toward merit and skill-based immigration.
Rubio, a native of Miami, Fla., explained, “They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check. … They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country.”
The goal, he added, is to give American agriculture a “reliable work force and to give protection to these workers as well … When someone is [undocumented] they’re vulnerable to being exploited.” The process to come to the United States to legally work in agriculture “is very difficult and very expensive. It doesn’t work well. So that alone encourages illegal immigration.”