Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio Differ on Why Obama's to Blame for Immigration Crisis
Around the State
The two U.S. senators representing Florida looked at the immigration crisis this week and pointed the blame at the Obama administration for why it’s continuing.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., took to the Senate floor on Thursday and said the Obama administration was failing to grasp why tens of thousands illegals -- including more than 52,000 children who have been caught since October -- are crossing the border. Nelson called for the Obama administration to ramp up operations and aid in Latin America to assist the war on drugs.
“The administration sent several Cabinet secretaries and high-ranking appointees to brief all senators last evening on the crisis of the children on the border, and what it appears is that they are getting their arms around addressing the problem of the children in the crisis, the humanitarian crisis on the border,” Nelson said. “However, it is the opinion of this senator that they do not recognize the root cause of the problem. And if the administration would listen to their four-star general, the head of United States Southern Command, General Kelly, and the testimony that he has already given to the Armed Services Committee of what is the problem, then we could get to the root cause of the problem and stop these future humanitarian crises.
“The problem simply is that we are not devoting the time and the resources, the money, to the interdiction of the big drug shipments coming out of South America into Central America,” Nelson continued. “They come in big shipments from Colombia through Venezuela by air or sea on the eastern side, from Colombia through Ecuador or originating (in) Ecuador out on the western side coming into three Central American states: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. As a result, the drug lords have completely taken over those countries. As a result, the violence is the highest. Honduras is the murder capital now of the world.
“And as a result of that drug violence, of which there is very little law and order, you have the whole system corrupted, and with parents, with children, is it logical that they would want to send their children to a safer environment?” Nelson asked. “Mr. President, the administration has got to address this issue with regard to going back (to) what we did so successfully in Plan Colombia. Interdict the drug traffic before it gets to those Central American countries, because once it does in the big shipments, then they break it down into smaller packages and it goes north.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also blamed the Obama administration this week for the border crisis, pointing toward the White House’s immigration policies. Appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, Rubio said Obama’s executive orders helped undermine immigration policies.
Rubio, a potential contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, said if he was president things would be very different in terms of immigration.
“I never would've signed an executive action granting deferred action to those who were in this country illegally," Rubio said to O'Reilly.
Rubio said Obama’s policies showed “tremendous amount of compassion” however “that wasn't the right way to do it” and caused more harm than good.
“It sent the message that actually invited people to come, and you see the disaster that has followed,” Rubio said.
Rubio called for using technology -- including drones and sensors -- and fencing to secure the border. Noting that “40 percent of our illegal immigration problem are people that enter the country legally and overstay visas," Rubio said more companies should use E-Verify to ensure the legal status of employees.
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