Sen. Marco Rubio expertly defended former President Donald Trump’s plan to mass deport tens of millions of people who have been allowed illegally into the country under President Joe Biden’s lax immigration and border security policies during an interview Sunday with NBC’s Kristen Welker.

The host of “Meet the Press” was initially called out by the Florida Republican and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee after he claimed she was using an illegal immigrant figure — 11 million inside the country — that is more than a decade old, pointing out that at least that many and maybe more have crossed illegally into the U.S. under Biden.

“If reelected, Donald Trump has said he’s willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military to deport the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. It would be the largest deportation operation in American history. Do you support that plan?” she asked.

“11 million? That was the number ten years ago. We’re talking upwards of 20, 25, maybe 30 million. There’s been almost 10 million people that have entered this country unlawfully in the last three years,” Rubio responded with a chuckle. She pressed: “Just to the question. Would you support it?”


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“The number varies big time. I mean, it’s another 9-10 million people just in the last three years. The answer to your question is yes. We cannot absorb 25, 30 million people who entered this country illegally. They’re here illegally. What country on earth would tolerate that? We don’t even know who some of these, most of these people are. They talk about vetting; vetting them with what? They’re coming from nations that don’t even have document systems in many cases,” Rubio responded.

“Yes, we are going to have to do something. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to do something dramatic to remove people from this country that are here illegally, especially people we know nothing about. But 10 million, 11 million, that was the number 15 years ago. Today, it’s upwards of probably 25-30 million, maybe more,” he said.

Welker then tried a “gotcha” moment with Rubio by playing a few clips of him during his 2016 presidential campaign while running for the GOP nomination against Trump, where he said he did not support a mass deportation. Rubio countered quickly, explaining that the situation today is much different than it was then.

“The issue has completely changed. When I said that and back in 2013, when I was involved in immigration reform, we had 11 to 12 million people that had been here for longer than a decade. Now, we’ve had almost that number in the last three years alone from all over the world, including people, that I believe, are terrorists,” Rubio said.

“People, that I believe, are going to conduct terrorist attacks in this country if given the opportunity. Certainly people that were criminals in their home country. This is a completely different – this is not immigration. You asked me about immigration, this is mass migration. Mass migration. This is an invasion of the country and it needs to be dealt with dramatically. And by the way, I don’t – I’m not a big poll follower, but polls show most Americans agree with us on this,” he added.

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