The conservative knives are coming out against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over his support for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration blueprint.
On Wednesday, commentator Ann Coulter penned a column for Human Events accusing Rubio of pushing a plan that would "create more Democratic voters" by providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.
"Rubio’s bill is nothing but amnesty. It isn't even 'amnesty thinly disguised as border enforcement,'" Coulter wrote. "This is a wolf in wolf's clothing."
According to Coulter, the "phony" plan could turn the entire nation Democratic-leaning, like California, by adding millions of Latino voters who would be inclined to vote Democratic.
"The vast majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic, and Hispanics have a higher teen birthrate than any other ethnic group," Coulter writes. "In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming."
While Coulter acknowledges the "enforcement first" claims in the "gang of eight" plan, she said she believes it will ultimately invite more people to cross the border illegally, in turn making it harder to secure.
As HuffPost's Elise Foley reports, the Senate proposal would give undocumented immigrants already living in the country a pathway to citizenship, but it would be difficult:
They could immediately gain provisional status, but certain border enforcement provisions would need to be implemented before any could receive green cards and eventual citizenship.
Though they referred to it as a pathway to citizenship, the senators behind the plan argue it is not amnesty given the arduous requirements and the fact that it would be tied to border enforcement.
A number of conservatives have met the Senate's framework with caution this week, but Coulter's dismissive tone echoes one taken by other GOP lawmakers.
On Monday, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) suggested that any GOP effort to give citizenship to undocumented Latino immigrants was misguided, claiming that they were mostly unskilled, uneducated and inherently drawn to the Democratic party due to their supposed government dependence.
And Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) called Rubio "amazingly naive" and "nuts" for cooperating on an effort that he said could be boiled down to "amnesty." Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have also criticized the plan.
While a certain wing of the GOP has expressed their doubts, sometimes colorfully, Rubio managed to win the approval of radio host Rush Limbaugh, who after an interview with the Florida Republican, heaped praise on the immigration reform push.
Also on HuffPost:
"Gang Of Eight"
A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/immigration-reform-framework_n_2566494.html?1359387491">bipartisan group of senators</a> have come together to address the issue of immigration reform. The group consists of four members of each party -- Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado, plus Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, John McCain of Arizona and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Their framework was announced Monday.
Pathway To Citizenship
A <a href="http://www.docstoc.com/docs/142894316/Bipartisan-immigration-plan">"tough but fair" </a> road to citizenship is the main tenet of the bipartisan immigrant plan. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the most significant supporter of this idea, giving hope to those who doubt Republicans will support the plan.
The New Process
The new process of obtaining citizenship would be just that -- a process. Probationary citizens would be required to pass an additional background check, learn English, pay taxes and show that they have a history of employment to apply for permanent residence and a green card. Undocumented immigrants will receive green cards after all probationary citizens have been processed, ensuring that documented immigrants are addressed first. Separate processes would be designed for young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and agricultural workers.
Enforcement, Then Green Cards
The first goal, before any green cards are handed out, is to "demonstrate our commitment to securing our borders and combating visa overstays," the senators say in their framework.
Enhance Border Security And Drones
Emphasizing enforcement measures, the framework calls for increased boarder control, including more border agents and aerial surveillance and drones. A new system would be added to ensure visa stays are being adhered to, along with a commission of border lawmakers to aid legislation.
Increase Employment Verification
The senators have proposed to create an "effective employment verification system" that would help prevent identity theft while allowing employers to feel secure in hiring documented immigrants.
No Benefits For Probationary Immigrants
Immigrants who are in the probationary category would not be eligible for federal benefits in the senators' framework. This addresses the concern that public benefits, particularly health-related ones, are being spent on undocumented immigrants.
An Easier Path For 'The Best And Brightest'
The framework recognizes that a different sort of process would be needed for "the best and brightest," including highly-skilled workers and those with higher education. This has been previously addressed in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/stem-act-white-house-immigration_n_2207279.html">STEM Act </a> which was ultimately vetoed by the White House.