Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that his immigration policies would have prevented his Cuban parents from immigrating to the United States.
A participant in the MSNBC town hall brought the issue up.
“If you were to institute your merit-based immigration policy, wouldn’t you be, I mean, shutting out people like your parents?” the young man asked.
“Yeah, well, you wouldn’t shut them out, but it’s a different process. My parents came in 1956. The world is a different place from 1956.”
The junior Senator from Florida went on to point out the differences.
“When my parents arrived in the U.S. in 1956, my dad had a fourth-grade education, maybe. My mom had about the same. If they came today under those circumstances, they would really struggle to succeed.”
Rubio added that “unless you have a certain level of skill or education, it’s very hard to find a sustainable job” in the 21st-century economy.”
Change in policy is nothing new, he said.
“So we always change policies when times change, and immigration policy’s no different,” he added.
“And so, today in the 21st century, the immigration policy has to be primarily based on merit. That doesn’t mean everyone’s a PhD; it does mean when you come in you should be able to prove what skills you’ll be able to bring to the U.S.”
Watch the clip, via MSNBC.
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