Marco Rubio and the Gang of Eight


Sample Student


In recent debates presidential candidate Marco Rubio has been repeatedly attacked over his involvement in the so called “gang of eight”. Whether it be Cruz, Trump, Christie, or even Bush, Rubio has been under constant fire from his running mates for his controversial participation in the group. But what exactly was the gang of eight and why is Rubio taking so much heat for his role in it?

Rubio ran for the Senate in 2010 as a tea party favorite campaigning heavily on the platform that he would never support amnesty. However, three years after winning a senate seat he coauthored the immigration bill which would allow many illegal immigrants to eventually receive U.S. citizenships.

The term “gang of eight” refers to the eight senators who wrote the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, commonly known as the immigration bill. The gang of eight was a bipartisan group of senators consisting of four democrats and four republicans, most notably John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). It is interesting to note that Lindsay Graham, former presidential contender, was also a member of the group. However, unlike Rubio, Graham received little criticism on the debate stage over his involvement in the gang. The proposed immigration bill sought to provide legal status for 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States who were not convicted of a felony, passed a background check, and paid a fine. Temporary legal status would be given if they met certain criteria and after ten years they would be able to apply for a green card, eventually leading to full citizenship after a total of at least 13 years. The bill passed in the Senate on June 27, 2013 by a vote of 68-32. However, the bill was never voted on in the House and consequently never became law.

Presidential rivals argue that Rubio created a bill contradicting the anti-amnesty position that ultimately won him the senate seat in 2010. Furthermore, they say that he quickly disregarded the bill and his support of it once he began to take heat from fellow conservatives.

Currently, Rubio says he does not support amnesty and that because the senate was controlled by democrats at the time he was simply trying to achieve what little immigration reform he could. He argues that the American people will not accept any legislation in regard to the illegals currently living here until the federal immigration laws are enforced.

Although indecisive on immigration, Marco Rubio has proven the ability to work with members from across the aisle, undoubtedly an important quality for the President of the United States.