Marco Rubio is pushing immigration reform hard today, appearing on not one, not two, but seven talk shows today to build the case for it, reports Politico. Immigrants "will have to come forward and pass a rigorous background check," he said in making the case to conservatives. "If they’re criminals they won’t qualify. If they pass, they will be given an opportunity to pay an application fee and a fine and be given a guest worker permit allowing them to stay in the US, work, travel, and pay taxes.” Rubio contends the status quo is "horrible for America," and says the Gang of Eight's plan "is not a special path" and in fact enforces "consequences" for violators. Elsewhere in Rubioland:
- On Jay-Z's Cuba trip: "Jay-Z needs to get informed. One of his heroes is Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent, so he should inform himself on the guy that he’s propping up."
- And furthermore: "If Jay-Z was truly interested in the true state of affairs in Cuba, he would have met people that are being oppressed, including a hip-hop artist in Cuba who is right now being oppressed and persecuted and is undergoing a hunger strike because of his political lyrics. And I think he missed an opportunity. But that’s Jay-Z’s issue."
- On North Korea: “What North Korea has is not a government. What North Korea has is a criminal syndicate.” Rubio says he's encouraged by John Kerry's progress with China, adding, "we're hoping the Chinese will recalibrate."
- On the gun debate: "Guns are what people are using. But violence is our problem. I think this is a missed opportunity to have an honest and open conversation in this country about why these horrifying things are happening, not simply what they're using to carry this out, but why are people doing this to begin with?"