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Sen. Marco Rubio Explains Immigration Plan On "This Week"

JON KARL, ABC NEWS: Now, one of your toughest Republican critics on this, Senator Sessions, is listening to this interview right now. And he asked the question, is this bill enforcement first or is it legalization first? And the bottom line is, with legalization being in just six months, the answer is, this is legalization first, isn't it?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, first - yeah, but it's, well, but it's important to understand that. If you do just – that was my original position. The problem is what do we do in the meantime? While you're doing all these enforcement mechanisms, what do you do with the millions of people that are undocumented? Is it a big game of cat and mouse, where if we catch you, you have to leave, but if we don't catch you, in the future you get to apply? I want to know who's here now, and I want to freeze the problem in place so it does not get worse. That's the first thing. The second thing is we don't want a rush on the border. We don't want people to think, well, they are still doing this enforcement stuff, but at some point in a few years, they're going to actually start some process, so let me sneak in now to take advantage of it. We don't want that either. What I want is to freeze the problem that's in place.

Look, I'm not happy about the fact that we have millions of people here illegally, and quite frankly, those decisions that led to that happening were made when I was in ninth grade. But that's what we have. This is not a theory, it is the reality, and what we have today is we don't do anything about it. It's de facto amnesty. What I'm saying is, let's bring these people out so we can figure out who needs to leave and who we're going to give a chance to earn their way towards one day being able to apply for a green card, the same way everybody else does. And I think that's why that is a better approach.

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