In his own appearance on the Spanish-language Univision network, Mr. Rubio tried to assuage some Hispanics who fear that their legal status will be held hostage to border security. Mr. Rubio said illegal immigrants will get quick legal status and work permits regardless of whether the borders are secure — but won’t be given a full pathway to citizenship until more enforcement is imposed.
“Nobody is talking here about preventing legalization. Legalization will take place,” Mr. Rubio told Univision in an interview scheduled to air Sunday.
“First comes legalization, then comes this border security measure and then comes the permanent residency process. What we are talking about here is the permanent residency system,” Mr. Rubio said. . . . Opponents argue that giving illegal immigrants immediate legal status repeats the mistake of the 1986 amnesty, when millions were put on a quick path to citizenship but promises of tighter border security and interior enforcement went unfulfilled.