Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (pictured) is appearing in a 60 second TV ad in support of the Gang of Eight immigration bill, but Jon Feere at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) said, "Every claim made in the ad is deceptive."
The ad was paid for by a group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction, which Politico reported is a front group for FWD.us, an organization supporting "comprehensive immigration reform" that was founded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and headed up by Joe Green, a veteran of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
The Organizing Director for FWD.us is Daniel Shih, "an experienced community organizer," in the 2008 Obama campaign and later "served in the White House as Domestic Policy Analyst for Vice President Biden." Lisa Conn, a "regional field director with the 2012 Obama campaign" is listed as the Organizer.
Feere's CIS analysis listed exactly what the TV ad claimed and provided a detailed response, partial excerpts of which follow:
RUBIO: Anyone who thinks what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty.
CIS: The problem is that Rubio wants to turn this "de facto" amnesty into a formal amnesty, and grant millions of law-breakers work permits, driver's licenses, Social Security accounts, travel documents, and an unknown number of additional state-level benefits…
The (Gang of Eight) amnesty bill would make permanent the inability to enforce the law by giving Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano "virtually unlimited discretion" to waive all enforcement of immigration law.
ANNOUNCER: Conservative leaders have a plan, the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States.
CIS: The so-called Gang of Eight senators who wrote the bill aren't all "conservative leaders", unless you consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to fit that description. True, the gang also includes Republican senators, but it is up for debate whether one considers Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to be conservative on immigration.
Their immigration report card grades, from the pro-enforcement group NumbersUSA, are troubling: Graham has a "C", McCain a "D", and a Flake "C"…
On closer inspection, many of these measures (noted below) are not as tough as they seem to be.
RUBIO: They have to pass the background check. They have to be able to pay a registration fee. They have to pay a fine.
CIS: To acquire the primary legal status offered under this bill, illegal immigrants would have to undergo a simple background check. But the bill would still grant legal status to illegal immigrants with a significant amount of criminality on their rap sheet…
Specifically, two misdemeanors will not result in legal status being denied…
The 1986 amnesty also had background checks, but hundreds of thousands of fraudulent applicants were rubber-stamped. The amnesty granted legal status to someone who used it to freely travel to the Middle East to pick up terrorist training and helped lead the 1993 World Trade Center bombing…The recent Boston Marathon bombing should also illustrate the government's inability to carefully vet backgrounds…
As written, the bill would allow known gang members to become U.S. citizens if they simply "renounce" their gang affiliation…
Furthermore, it is likely that some pro-amnesty groups will assist applicants in paying the fines--some of which will be using taxpayer-provided funds to do so. The bill would actually grant groups like La Raza $150 million of taxpayer dollars to help illegal aliens apply for the amnesty, and the bill grants them a lot of discretion to decide how to spend the money.
ANNOUNCER: Border security on steroids. Tough border triggers. And no giveaways for law breakers.
CIS: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano simply has to submit a plan for border security and a fencing plan within six months of the passage of this bill. As soon as she submits the plans, illegal aliens become eligible for work permits, Social Security accounts, driver's licenses, travel documents, and countless state-level benefits…
A proposed amendment to the bill that would have made border security come before these benefits are handed out was rejected by the Senate (Judiciary Committee). Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Lindsey Graham, two of the alleged "conservative leaders" who helped author this bill, voted against the amendment along with all of the Democrats…
One member of the Gang of Eight has asserted that citizenship for illegal immigrants will not be conditioned on actually having a secure border. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) explained, "We are not using border security as a block to a path to citizenship. This [the trigger] will not be a barrier to giving citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country."
In other words, there really aren't any border security triggers at all.
RUBIO: No federal benefits. No food stamps. No welfare. No Obamacare. They have to prove that they're gainfully employed.
CIS: Rubio is simply wrong with these assertions…
Legal immigrant households tend to have relatively high use rates for every type of welfare program. It is undeniable that if the amnesty bill becomes law, the legalized illegal immigrants will have greater access to the welfare state. Illegal immigrants who get green card status will have access to Obamacare…
All education and job requirements in the bill are waived if the immigrant is unable to work or go to school "due to circumstances outside the control of the alien". The bill provides no explanation of what this might include…
But standards are low here. Amnesty applicants can submit a number of different documents to prove they worked. This includes…sworn affidavits from an alien's family member who is willing to claim that the alien was working.
ANNOUNCER: Bold. Very conservative. A tough line on immigration.
CIS: The phrase "tough line on immigration" was taken from (Ruben Navarrette), a pro-amnesty columnist from CNN. The same columnist called Arizona a "rogue state at war" for passing laws attempting to curb illegal immigration. That the pro-amnesty columnist opposed (Governor) Jan Brewer's efforts but embraces Rubio should raise flags about Rubio's commitment to immigration enforcement.
RUBIO: It puts in place the toughest enforcement measures in the history of the United States, potentially in the world. And it once and for all deals with the issue of those that are here illegally but does so in a way that's fair and compassionate but does not encourage people to come illegally in the future and isn't unfair to the people that have done it the right way.
CIS: The 1986 comprehensive amnesty, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), was sold to the public as a one-time plan that would not have to be repeated because the bill contained sanctions against employers for hiring illegal immigrants and other enforcement provisions…
In fact, only a few years after IRCA passed, the National Council of La Raza issued a report calling for the end to workplace enforcement. Interestingly, the author of that report was Cecilia Munoz, who today is President Obama's chief immigration advisor. Odds are high that she will be working to undermine the enforcement in Rubio's bill the moment it becomes law.
Just last week, President Obama told a roomful of amnesty advocate groups that if the bill becomes law, he will "revisit" the enforcement provisions.
From the Washington Times:
"We have seen an increase in attempted entries," Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher told a Senate committee. He said part of the reason for an increase is that Congress is talking about legalizing illegal immigrants, which is luring more foreigners to try to be in the U.S. when amnesty takes effect.
ANNOUNCER: Stand with Marco Rubio to end de facto amnesty. Support conservative immigration reform.
CIS: Rubio himself is standing with Obama, Napolitano, La Raza, the ACLU, and many other amnesty supporters who cannot be described as "conservative" in any sense of the word.
Previous issues of this newsletter HERE and HERE reported on other serious misstatements Rubio has made about the provisions in the Gang of Eight Bill.
It is possible that Rubio has simply not taken the time to read all of the 844-page S 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, and is heavily relying on what other people have told him is in the bill.
It would be more disappointing if it turned out Rubio actually knew what is in the bill but was deliberately disguising it.
The previous What's Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: Gang of 8 Bill hurting Sen. Rubio with GOP voters
The previous What's Happening with Seniors Benefits: Obamacare is devastating to small businesses
Previous issues of both newsletters.
Follow Art Kelly on Twitter @ArthurKellyJr