Senator Marco Rubio, the leading Republican behind the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform proposal, has often challenged those who criticize the bill to come up with ways to improve it. And not just his fellow lawmakers; Rubio has opened a new page on his Senate website asking for help from the public.
“Visit our website and submit your ideas to ‘Help Us Improve the Bill,’” says an announcement from Rubio’s office Friday. “Since the immigration legislation was introduced, Rubio has received over 1,100 suggestions for how to improve the bill. Rubio encourages the public to continue reviewing the bill and sharing their ideas on ways to make the bill better when the time comes to amend the legislation.”
A visit to the “Help Us Improve the Bill” page shows the senator has posted just 147 out of the 1,100 suggestions he has so far received. Rubio’s staff is reviewing each one — a wise move, given the emotions that the immigration issue can involve and the tendency of some people to say nasty things on the Internet.
But even after screening for foul language and general content, the suggestions Rubio has so far received are remarkably negative. Actually, they are overwhelmingly, crushingly negative, criticizing a wide spectrum of issues included in the Gang of Eight bill. The commenters Rubio has invited to speak really, really, really don’t like what he has done.
“This amnesty bill is awful and you should back away from it as you promised you would,” says the very first suggestion, setting the tone for what is to come.
“Here’s how to improve the bill,” says another. “KILL IT.” “The only way to improve this bill is to chuck it into the garbage can,” says another. “We cannot believe you are so naive to believe that this bill would work.” “My suggestion is a simple one,” says another. “Throw out this bill and enforce our current immigration laws.”
“NO, NO, NO,” says yet another.
Other suggestions focus specifically on the enforcement provisions in the bill. “Secure the border first, this is not debatable,” says one. “As a Cuban-American myself, I can tell that a lot of Cuban-Americans are against this bill if the border is not secured first,” says another. “I would not be voting for Sen. Rubio again if border security is not first achieved.” “NO amnesty for those here illegally,” says another. Yet another: “Enforce the laws that we already have.” And another: “Please — no agreement unless the borders will be secured, and no rewards for wrongdoing!!” “The border must be sealed FIRST,” says another. “Obama lies. He will not enforce border security.” Then: “Common sense would dictate STRONGER ENFORCEMENT at the border FIRST!!” “I suggest that until the borders are secure, nothing else should happen,” says another.
“We have been promised secure borders before and it hasn’t happened. Once secure, we can discuss the rest of your bill.” Says yet another: “I have no problems with compassionately dealing with the illegals that are already here, but by giving then amnesty (or whatever else you want to call it) before any real enforcement kicks in is the biggest problem. Don’t tell me no one gets legalized until DHS submits and starts a plan to secure the border. That’s not enforcement.”
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