Audio: My interview with Marco Rubio
posted at 12:56 pm on June 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Via Steve at Common Cents, who put it in a YouTube. Sen. Marco Rubio rebutted a few of the criticisms of Corker-Hoeven in my guest-hosting gig for Hugh Hewitt show:
Duane posted the transcript last night, and here’s an excerpt:
EM: Senator Rubio, obviously we’re going to be talking a lot about the Corker-Hoeven Amendment. The language of this dropped on Friday. It has been criticized among conservatives for not being tough enough on actually making sure that the border fence will be built. I know that this one particular piece of language people are very concerned about. The language says, “Notwithstanding paragraph 1, nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing in a particular location along the Southern border if the Secretary determines that the user placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location.” Senator Rubio, the criticism that is coming up on this is that this language allows a very large exception here that could mean that the Secretary might determine that none of the border fencing is really the most effective use of resources in terms of securing the Southern border. Is this that big of a loophole? Because it does appear to be a bit of a concern.
MR: Right, it’s not a loophole at all, and let me explain why. First of all, they’re reading that paragraph in isolation from the rest of the section. The section mandates that there has to be 700 miles of fence. Period. There has to be 700 miles. The only discretion the Secretary has, and whether it’s this secretary or a future one, because the fence is going to take a number of years to build, the only discretion they have is where the fence goes. So for example, they’ll have discretion about not having to build a fence on the top of a 5,000 foot mountain. They can say look, maybe the fence shouldn’t go here, it should go in some other part of the border. But 700 miles of fence must be built. That, it does not change at all. There must be…if there aren’t 700 miles of fence, there are no green cards available for people that have violated our immigrations laws. It goes one step further, by the way. The way the amendment is written, it actually requires them as the first option to replace existing vehicle barriers. Here’s what’s happened. In 2006, they passed a law that said there had to be 700 miles of fencing. The next year, the Congress defunded that.
MR: They said oh, you can only do, you don’t have to do double fencing. You can even do vehicular fencing. So you’ll have a road, and what they do is they put up some barriers to a car. So maybe you can’t drive a car through that, but someone can just walk right past that stuff. The bill actually requires that that be replaced with a real fence, a real pedestrian fence. So here’s the bottom line. They’re reading that wrong. You must have 700 miles of fencing, no exception, period. The only thing that the Department gets to choose is where that fence goes along those 700 miles.
If you missed it earlier this morning, I posted the transcript of my interview with Jeff Sessions from last night, too. Sessions gave his side of this debate over Corker-Hoeven, so be sure to read both.