Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is trying to foster urgency within Congress to take action on immigration reform, warning fellow lawmakers that President Obama could resort to issuing another executive order.
A year ago Thursday, Obama began deferring deportation for Dream Act kids brought to the country illegally as children through executive order. Rubio said Tuesday during an interview on WFLA that Obama could do the same thing for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
"I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, to issue an executive order as he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen," Rubio said.
If Obama were to authorize an executive order, the provisions many conservatives want to be included in immigration reform — most notably the tough border provisions — would likely not be included.
So, could an executive order on this scale actually happen? It's highly unlikely, according to both Democrats and Republicans. (A House Democratic staffer called Rubio's reasoning "a bit far-fetched.")
For their part, conservatives don't think Congress will fall for Rubio's warning. “Rubio is trying to play on the worst fears of conservatives to push through his amnesty. I don’t think conservatives are going to buy it,” Roy Beck of NumbersUSA said.
The White House corroborates both takes. “The only solution to this problem is for Congress to fix the broken immigration system by passing comprehensive reform,” said Bobby Whithorne, a White House spokesman.
And it seems like Rubio is trying to make that happen, however illogically.
"Existing law does not help us solve the problem of having 11 million human beings living among us... Unless we’re going to try to round up and deport 11 million people, something not even the most vociferous opponents of the bill proposed, we’ll have to address this one way or another," Rubio said.
"We can’t leave it the way it is because a year from now we could find ourselves with all 11 million people here legally through an executive order from the president."