Marco Rubio

Rubio Promises to Double Number of Border Patrol Agents

Say he wants 20,000 new border patrol agents.


Gage Skidmore

At a town hall in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) promised the federal government would "hire 20,000 new border agents instead of 20,000 new IRS agents," according to The Guardian's Sabrina Siddiqui.

Rubio's come a long way on the issue of immigration since his 2013 efforts to work on "comprehensive immigration reform" with the bipartisan "Gang of Eight." That effort failed—the House of Representatives never brought it up for a vote, with Republicans saying "border security and interior enforcement must come first," even though the 2013 immigration bill included 3,500 new border patrol agents, and billions of dollars for new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Border security first" has become the standard Republican line headed into 2016, and as anti-immigration sentiments appeared to have helped propel Donald Trump to the top of Republican polls, Republican candidates are working furiously to outflank each other on immigration.

Rubio, for his part, has not been able to shake off the legacy of trying to work on immigration reform. Last month, fellow presidential candidate Rand Paul characterized Rubio's position on immigration as "open borders." That description, Brian Doherty noted, was outright wrong. Far from being in favor of anything resembling "open borders" (or the free movement of people and goods across the border), Rubio supports more border enforcement, immigration tracking, e-verify (requiring employers to act as immigration agents when employing), and shifting visas from family-based to "merit-based." The policies largely mirror Paul's, and, with respect to e-Verify, go even further.

Trump and others regularly reference Rubio's participation in the 2013 immigration reform effort to paint him as no true Scotsman restrictionist. At a recent town hall, Rubio said he was open to allowing illegal immigrants to apply for green cards—to Breitbart that was the equivalent of supporting "amnesty."

Rubio's new call for 20,000 more border patrol agents would double the number of agents there were in 2011, which itself was a doubling of the number of agents since 2004. For years, Obama has touted his increase in border patrol agents, saying in 2011 that he was continuing a buildup that started under George W. Bush. While Obama argued the increased enforcement should open the door for broader reform since it representing putting "border security first," he also acknowledged the political realities. "I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time," Obama said at the time. "They'll say we need to triple the border patrol.  Or quadruple the border patrol."

Now Rubio's called for doubling the border patrol again. How long before another Republican calls to triple it, painting Rubio as weak on immigration control and pushing the party further into restrictionist territory.

NEXT: Lexington Mayor Challenging Rand Paul's Senate Seat in Kentucky

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  1. What a transparently useless, pandering piece of garbage Rubio is.

    1. You said it.

    2. I wouldn’t even trust that piece of shit to babysit.

      (Goes for Trump, Clinton, and Cruz as well. I could possibly trust Sanders to babysit, he at least aspires to be chief nanny.)

      1. I’d trust Sanders and Kasich with my kid. Sanders because he does funny things and would probably love to entertain and Kasich because he’ll probably try to teach my kid manners.

    3. Which makes him different than the other useless, pandering pieces of garbage?

      1. He’s not as good at it.

  2. Because what everyone is clamoring for is more people on the federal payroll! Rubio is spineless, unprincipled and stupid. Terrible combination.

    1. But these are the right kinds of people on the federal payroll… I thought it’s been well established that most Republicans don’t give a shit about the size of government, as long as it is growing in ways they care about.

    2. We could set up a third line of border control 200 miles from the border.

    3. You could add 1 million boarder control agents and it still wouldn’t change anything.

      You just have to start enforcing the existing laws, which deports people here illegally and jails employers (yes including those who hire illegals as gardeners or baby sitters). Do this and illegal immigration would stop.

  3. this is the guy who opened his candidacy by singing a song of “immigrants rising to become great Americans” and insisting that by sheer force of will alone he’s convince the public that this nativist xenophobia was bad for the country and…..

    (insert trump’s success)

    …now he’s offering to personally man a machine-gun tower on the border, and insisting the minefields aren’t dense enough

    1. Rubio for Todes-schutzen! That’ll stop them gringos from heading down south into West Berlin for a little fun.
      It is not clear if Trump is another Ross Perot or another George Wallace, but watching the machine politicians and the National Socialist Review cluck with disapproval at least adds entertainment value not seen in recent decades.

  4. And let’s make the border 300 miles deep!

    1. That’s gonna require a lot of shovels.

    2. The Supreme Court has already accomplished that.

    3. Just 300?! This piece of shit just loves him some Mexican terrorists, don’t he? As if we’re not all aware that the narcos have ziplines ready to detach and ferry immigrants across the instant it happens.

      500 miles, and fill the chasm with the corpses of the Mexicans who cross us. Let’s see if they can immigrate to the molten core of the Earth.

      VOTE TROUSER 2016

  5. Close your eyes and listen to his voice. It’s John Malkovich.

    1. Malkovich Malkovich?

      1. And I think it’s along the same lines as Madonna’s faux high British accent, an affectation designed to make him/her sound classier or more erudite. Or something.


        1. It’s the accent of someone who wasn’t raised by native English speakers and who grew up in a community of non-native English speakers and native English speakers raised by non-native English speakers.

            1. There’s no english speakers there.

  6. He’s finding common ground with Hillary. I see this as an olive branch.

  7. I could see supporting more Border Patrol, as part of a package that made the border region where they could operate 5 miles deep.

  8. Jesus Christ. The Border Patrol is already the most out of control law enforcement agency in the country (lookup the “Green Monster”) because of the rushed post-9/11 hiring spree.

    1. Also, if the border Rambos were killing people out there, how would anyone find out about it? It’s not like Ferguson, Salt Lake City and New York where citizens with iPhones can actually film the murders.

      1. Whistleblowers!!

        I managed to get that out without noticeably cracking up on the subway. Go me!

  9. Jobs programs are always teh awesome. Stimulus 2017!
    [just think, if they make it thick enough, spaces could be leased to vendors selling food, designer clothing and trinkets, maybe even a Body Shop or a Zales]

    1. They”ll be selling Chiclets. The way things are going, we’re all going to be hanging out around the border trying to sell Chiclets to anybody with spare change.

      1. I believe OMWC would buy those Chiclets.

    2. I’d like to see a Panda Express and Chick Fil A.

  10. If I recall correctly, nobody wanted to cross American borders to burn things down or blow stuff up before George Holy War Bush had the wonderful idea of invading the Byzantine Empire. In fact, before Johnson and Nixon began kidnapping youths to murder peasants in ‘Nam, there weren’t even any homegrown liberation armies or Weathermen. There was Lolita, of course, but a) These States invaded Puerto Rico first and b) her gang couldn’t hit a target if they had to.

  11. Do you know who else was for “interior enforcement” of disfavored groups?

    1. The Police Unions?

      1. All groups are disfavored groups according to the men in blue. Except other men in blue.

        1. Which means job security.

    2. Jeffrey Dahmer?

  12. Great plan, you shitbag for a politician, just keep increasing the size of the federal workforce in addition to the inevitable increase in citizenship checkpoints in the 100 mile constitution free border zone.

  13. Rubio’s new call for 20,000 more border patrol agents would double the number of agents there were in 2011, which itself was a doubling of the number of agents since 2004.

    *** rising intonation ***

    I see an end to unemployment.

  14. The evolution of my thoughts on open borders has been odd. I really don’t see the logic behind the thought that closed-border types are only ever racially motivated. This trope might work in some circles, but I’m surrounded by Hispanics who habitually spit when they talk about illegals and my own reasoning for closed-border sprang from property rights. Ergo, this trope falls at every fence, and holds no ring of “truthiness”.

    It was having to examine my motivations to know why they weren’t racial when this was insisted upon that prompted me to really consider the private property rights angle. I agreed with closed-borders because having gone to the work and effort to earn and maintain a property and then being left free from interference to do exactly that is a prime foundation for an innovative, thriving market. Throw in that there is no part of a welfare state and furiously chucking OPM at everyone in the world who will hold still long enough that isn’t harmful to the productive. That which you tax, you get less of – that which you reward…

    1. Two things occurred to me. Why ascribe private property rights to the US government? They are not private actors – by definition, their assets and holdings are not theirs. And closing the borders to the free flow of people and goods is something I disliked when it came to me, and I realized this. I dislike that I cannot leave the country I was fluked to be born in without the proper permission slip. I dislike that I can’t enter another without getting a second permission slip. I dislike that I can’t order antibiotics online from someone who has paid for them – and thus by all private property rights owns them and may disperse them or not as they wish.

      In short, the private property being protected was the government’s right to own me; my movements, my purchases, my opportunity to leave if I didn’t like or agree with the way they run their railroad.

      Nice racket they’ve got there.

      Not that any of you are required to feel the same, or to care.

      1. What I see is a divide between statist-leaning libertarians and anarchist-leaning libertarians.

        For the former, the government has a purpose and a duty, and failing to uphold that duty it is a dereliction that will materially harm people’s lives. For the latter, the government is an obstruction and a malefactor, and anything which empowers it must naturally come at the expense of the individual.

        The problem is that they’re both right.

        1. So, how to cut the Gordian knot. Or would we need to? Is it possible for non-linear systems, such as human needs and behavior, to be satisfied in a manner which serves the needs of a large, non-homogenous population without a tragedy of the commons? (Or, aha, are your statist-libertarians going to say yes, while the anarchist-libertarians in your example say no?)

          Holling/Meffe wrote something appropriate to the topic. Notably, the resilience of an ecosystem (in my OP example being America) and thus it’s ability to handle adversity, depends upon its diversity. Stability breeds fragility.

          We seem to be set up for a never-ending cycle of species failure until we can resolve this impasse.

          On the other hand, this discussion isn’t just a bunch of people screaming about yokels and cosmos, so hurrah, small victories.

      2. My thoughts evolved on similar lines, and reached an impasse when it came to two things:

        a) Public/common/community-held goods do exist, and are there for the benefit of the community. Those who established the good in the first place can be considered the owners, and their wishes for how it is to be used should be respected to the degree possible. If the Gates Foundation set up a scholarship for . Likewise, if the public goods were originally and voluntarily set up by people who wanted these goods to benefit the body politic, then it should be up to them to decide how these goods are used. Seems to me that in large part, this is the case for the major institutions that libertarians would consider appropriate (armies, libraries, public ROADZ, etc) and that the community should make decisions for their use as they see fit, including the restriction of these goods to non-foreigners or the sale of these goods to private buyers. Broadly, the power of immigration seems closely related to the regulation of these goods and of public easements.

        1. b) An immigrant implicitly subjects themselves to the whole body of law as has been developed by the body politic even moreso than the person who is merely born in a place: they move there with understanding of the rules in force, and should be expected even more than citizens to follow this law. This would include immigration law, and to the degree that immigration law conflicts with their desires, they are at liberty to move elsewhere (and more likely to be able to do so than the citizen, who may only be familiar with where he’s grown up). If it is ethical to expect the citizen to be able to follow the laws of a libertarian (or libertarian-friendly) state, it is more ethical still to expect the same from a non-citizen who voluntarily moves to the same place.

          A small country like Georgia or Israel will never allow open borders, after seeing what a large refugee population did to ruin Lebanon. Costa Rica will never allow anything close to completely open immigration with Nicaragua, thanks to differing views on the environment, political culture, and income level. And on the list goes. Leaving aside ethics for the moment, it seems to me that the sheer practicality of open borders depends on a great deal of similarity in expectations among immigrants and the native population.

          1. I’ve thought of exactly the same thing, in other words-open borders aren’t feasible unless both/all societies/cultures share a similar attitude towards freedom.

            1. My reading has suggested the same conclusions. That’s one of the reasons I mentioned non-homogeneous populations with Kbolino.

              My reading has also suggested that, without the whetstone of differences (a marketplace of ideas, for eg), mankind stagnates to an unsustainable condition.

              I’m still puzzling how to reconcile the two.

        2. I think that’s a fair position*, but I don’t see what it has to do with the federal government. Maybe the interstates, but aren’t those mostly state-funded nowadays?

          * = Given that we all understand the Trojan horse nature of public ownership and recognize that it’s a battle worth fighting, just not one we’re going to win any time soon

          1. I’m torn on what to think about public ownership. It’s obviously less easy to manage than private ownership (and so a rule of thumb should be “sell if feasible”), but at the same time seems unavoidable/desirable when it comes to certain things (e.g., easements, riparian rights, defense and foreign policy to a certain degree, certain roadways, etc). Privatizing to the degree possible is worthwhile, but dubious when it comes to those things: for example, exactly how to organize the defense of a city if every tower, every park and every road has a different private owner and different private security company seems every unintuitive. To use Jerusalem as an example, I’m pretty damn sure that the private security companies serving the Muslim Quarter are unlikely to let IDF-corp set up a sentryway anywhere under their control, and that’s unlikely to be a stable situation for either group. Cooperation seems like an unbreakable rule in many of the areas where public goods universally prevail, so much so that competition of any kind is unacceptable. And if it’s unavoidable, community control of these resources seems like the best solutions.

            Come to think of it, this is all just a long way of confirming your point above and outing the inner workings of the statist libertarian mindset.

            1. And I’m thinking more in the abstract than in nuts-and-bolts, but FedGov as immigration guarantor would have to stem from a granting of that power on the part of states. Whether or not they actually did so either implicitly or through the Constitution is another question, but the powers of a confederacy of any kind must first derive from the states which voluntarily formed it, seems to me.

      3. Why ascribe private property rights to the US government?

        Because American citizens can’t own land. The highest form of freehold ownership allowed to citizens in US law is fee simple. As allodial title is impossible for citizens to possible, that means the ultimate owner of all land in the country is the Federal government. That’s why we have eminent domain and the fucking Communist Chinese don’t.

        1. What I don’t get is why don’t the Communists just disappear the owners? Sure, they can’t take the land, but they can get rid of the problem nonetheless.

          1. What I don’t get is why don’t the Communists just disappear the owners?

            That is what usually happens.

        2. I wonder, can the Feds use eminent domain to take land from the state governments? Yeah, a lot of Western states gave up a lot of land as part of obtaining statehood, and a lot of states across the country gave up a lot of land “voluntarily” (as in, the state government consented even if the private landowners didn’t). But if the Feds wanted a choice piece of state land and the state didn’t want to give it up, could they take it?

          1. It’s complicated. See this discussion over at Liberty Law Site:


            1. Perhaps private property meant not property own by nonstate actors. Instead, perhaps it meant the type of property owned by nonstate actors in contrast to the type of property held by states. Thus, ownership of a piece of land in fee simple would be private property, even if owned by a state, but a state’s control over the oceans or the air or oyster beds would not. Those latter types of property are public property as opposed to private property. I don’t know if this was a meaning of private property at the time of the Constitution, but it might have been.

              Based on Jefferson’s arguments in A Summary View of the Rights of British America, I find that line of reasoning convincing.

              1. Interesting. On the bright side, I get to read my way further down the rabbit hole. Apologies for not reading all of them thouroughly for proper context before replying, I don’t want y’all to think I dropped thinky-thoughts and bolted. I’m avidly reading everyone’s thoughts here, and I’ve given your links at least a skim.

                Let’s stipulate that you’re correct. It seems to me that it would necessarily follow that the citizens are, in fact, owned by their government in a manner that is legal and proscriptive. In simplest terms, we must abide by private property while we remain, and we must seek permission to leave, which condition can be described as non-autonomous and not independently changeable. Would this be accurate? Overblown? Genuine question.

                Sarcasmic mentioned in an earlier thread that changing the Senate to popular vote was the death knell for the republic. Considering your information, it seems that the republic was strangled in it’s cradle and the rest was well-nigh inevitable.

          2. I wonder, can the Feds use eminent domain to take land from the state governments?

            Based on how the 5th is written, I believe yes.

            1. Post-incorporation, of course.

              1. You’d need Congress to write legislation abrogating a State’s Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity from suit, probably by showing why the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause required such an abrogation, though there may be other ways of showing that the abrogation was necessary.

                See e.g., Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, (1996)

  15. Rubio’s next genius move will be to pay them commissions.

  16. Fools. Those agents are going to keep people in. Did you think they were there to keep people out?

    1. Lets hope you are right.

  17. Rubio Promises to Double Number of Border Patrol Agents

    The candidate that promises to stop Reason’s website from sliding evermore into Daily Caller territory will be the candidate who gets my vote. Enough with all of this auto-play ad shit.

  18. At a recent town hall, Rubio said he was open to allowing illegal immigrants to apply for green cards?to Breitbart that was the equivalent of supporting “amnesty.”

    I didn’t click on the link, so I don’t know exactly what Rubio said, but allowing illegal immigrants to apply for green cards is exactly what “amnesty” is. Actually it’s even more radical than what some supporters of “amnesty” would demand.

    1. That’s what Rubio said:

      “I have personally said that I am open to them being able to apply for ? not be awarded ? apply for a green card. You can’t apply for citizenship, you can apply for a green card.”

      Yes, this is amnesty. Foreign nationals may legally live in the US for many years, if not decades, on various non-immigrant visas and have NO right to apply for a green card.

      1. At this point, everything is amnesty. If you breath a word that doesn’t fall into the ‘wallz and deport em all’ narrative, it’s amnesty.

        1. From the guy whose foreign relations and immigrant policy boils down to “bomb ’em and bring ’em over”, that doesn’t really mean much.

        2. There’s no way to enforce US immigration law without deportations. Just like –some– (I’m very soft on crime) criminals should be sent to prison, people who violated immigration laws should be sent back where they came from.

  19. O Rubio, Rubio, wherefore art thou Rubio?

    Deny thy fatherland and refuse thy good name.

    Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn a douchebag

    And I’ll no longer be a Trumpster.

    ‘Tis but thy shitweaselry that is my enemy:

    Thou art thyself, though a Moron.

    What’s Moron? It is neither smart nor honest

    Nor true nor brave nor any other part

    Belonging to a man. O be some other name.

    What’s in a name? That which we call a turd

    By any other name would stink as bad;

    So Rubio would, were he not Rubio call’d,

    Retain that damn’d perfidy which he owes

    Without that title. Rubio, doff thy name,

    And for that name, which is no part of thee,

    Take all Trump’s supporters.

  20. There is actually a net outflow of over a 100,000 Mexicans going back home and Rubio wants to double the size of the border patrol??
    What amazes me is when I try to tell my conservative friends facts like that, they just look at me like I’m crazy-I get the same reaction from left wing acquaintances when I suggest cutbacks on entitlements-can’t win from either direction.

  21. In Laredo did Rubio Khan
    A stately border-fence decree:
    Where Rio Grande, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to the wharf in San Antone.
    So twice fifty miles of rights-free ground
    With walls and towers were girdled round;
    And there were agents bright with Oakley shades,
    Where blossomed many an ifringing checkpoint;
    And here were migrants ancient as the hills,
    Enfolding backpacks, bottled water, and tortillas.

  22. So how about we remove US troops guarding the South Korean border and turn them into border patrol defending US borders.

    Since there are 28,000 in South Korea and Rubio only wants 20,000, that would save the taxpayers 8,000 paychecks

    1. Now that just makes sense but we know Rubio and his colleagues in congress nevermind the pentagon would never go along with a money saving plan like that.

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