On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper tried to spin the dead border deal by telling U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that asylum was somehow not a pathway to citizenship. And promptly got taken to school thereafter.
Here’s the relevant exchange, as aired on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, February 11th, 2024:
U.S. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Look, there are some things in that bill that we should do. You know, change the asylum standard and the like. Here's what else the bill did. The bill basically creates an asylum court, OK?
It creates a bunch of, you know, thousands of bureaucrats, basically, agents- asylum agents, that would be empowered right at the border to either allow people into the country with an immediate work permit, today they have to wait six months. You give them an immediate work permit, you’re going to have more people coming. And that's a huge magnet. Or they have the power to immediately release them and grant them asylum which now puts them on a five-year path to citizenship. Which is what a lot of Democrats want.
They want to turn a bunch of illegal immigrants into voter- into citizens, into voters in the hopes that those people will then turn around and vote for them in future elections, grateful because they know who let them in. That's a huge problem. That doesn't solve the border. It makes it worse.
JAKE TAPPER: This doesn't provide a path to citizenship for any of these people, just to clarify. But- but it raises… you know-
RUBIO: Yes, it does. Absolutely it does. No- yes, it does. When you have asylum, you are on a path to citizenship. On asylum, when you get asylum you are a year away from a green card, and four years away from citizenship.
TAPPER: But you said you approved of the asylum changes.
RUBIO: And those bureaucrats would have the power to grant you asylum. Not even a judge. A bureaucrat.
The exchange on asylum was part of a broader interview that began with a discussion of the Ukraine side of the border deal, and Tapper trying to pin Rubio down. Rubio held his ground, insisting that assistance to Israel is being held up by being commingled with Ukraine and that the border should come first.
As the interview moved to the border portion of the bill, Tapper went for the appeal to authority, citing the head of the Border Patrol Union as supporting the bill. Rubio asserts that the bill, in fact, wasn’t tough enough, that President Biden already has all the authority he needs to do what needs to be done on the border, and that, based on his track record, he can’t be trusted to enforce these new laws anyway.
The exchange on asylum serves to illustrate the extent to which this is the whole ballgame. Tapper seemed stunned as Rubio recited the facts around the degree to which asylees fast-track to citizenship, which makes the current asylum abuse all the more insidious. Tapper had no response for this once his weak fact-check got shut down.