During a March 28, 2010 Fox News debate against then-Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio said: “He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong, and the reason I think it’s wrong is that if you grant amnesty, as the governor proposes that we do, in any form, whether it’s back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America.”

In a CNN debate on Oct 24, 2010, moderator Candy Crowley asked, “So your plan is that you’re going to close the borders, get the electronic system, fix the legal system, and then do what?” Rubio responded: “And then you’ll have a legal immigration system that works. And you’ll have people in this country that are without documents that will be able to return to the — will be able to leave this country, return to their homeland, and try to re-enter through our system that now functions, a system that makes sense…Earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty.”

The legislation Rubio backed Monday requires illegal immigrants to pass a criminal background check, hold down a job, pay fines and back taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line – just like previous proposals.