Florida has become a powerful voice in the debate over whether undocumented immigrants should be given a legal residency status. Many of these immigrants are hopeful that the DREAM Act will lead to further changes and new laws that will enable them to claim permanent residency and eventually become U.S. citizens. Still, there is the possibility, until such changes are made, that they will be taken into federal custody and deported.
However, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is taking up the cause. Recently, he made a public statement along with four other senators to publicly announce his support for legislation that would grant millions of undocumented immigrants the opportunity to stay legally in the country.
In his remarks, Rubio spoke about his connections to immigrants and the important role they play in the economy. The senator was praised for his willingness to take a public stand on such a sensitive issue, especially because so many others in his own political party are clearly against giving immigrants amnesty.
It is certain that the new legislation, which Rubio helped write, will meet some fierce opposition when it is presented in Congress. However, it is also important for legislators to realize that the reality of rounding up millions of people and deporting them is simply not possible.
In the meantime, these people are building businesses in their communities, paying taxes, and are generally law-abiding residents. Giving these immigrants lawful permanent residency would allow them to remain in the country that they have grown to love.
Source: Florida Today, “Dana Milbank: Rubio shows courage on immigration,” Dana Milbank, Feb. 1, 2013