Rubio: I don't think it's good for the country to have people who "are permanently barred as citizens"

During a question and answer session, Rubio was pointedly asked by CNSNews whether “putting illegal aliens on a path to citizenship” would help economic growth.

“That’s just a fundamental decision the country will have to make. If the country decides they are prepared to incorporate 8 or 9 million people that violated our laws, the next question will be: ‘Are you prepared to have 8 or 9 million people living among you that can live here permanently for the rest of their lives but never become citizens?’ Rubio said in his five-minute long answer of continued disagreement between the House and Senate on immigration reform.

Of his own views, he added: “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have people that are forever permanently barred, who are legally here at this point but are permanently barred as citizens.”

Rubio also emphasized that allowing future legal immigrants into the country based on merit rather than family unification will help immigrants spur the U.S. economy.