Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday said that he was “open” to considering the idea of halting all student visas from Muslim countries as a reaction to this month’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Earlier this week, Fox News host Bob Beckel first suggested that there should be a two-year suspension of 75,000 student visas from Muslim countries, even though the two men suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings emigrated from Russia as refugees.
“I think we really have to consider, given the fact so many people hate us, that we’re going to have to cut off Muslim students coming to this country for some period of time so that we can absorb what we’ve got and look at what we’ve got and decide whether some of the people here should be going — be sent home or sent to prison,” Beckel opined.
During a Wednesday interview about how the terrorist attack might affect immigration reform, Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Rubio if he agreed with Beckel.
“We need to be open to changes that provide more security,” Rubio replied. “I don’t like profiling anybody or singling or generally leading, on the other hand student visas are something this country does because it’s in our national interest but you don’t have a right to a student visa.”
“I’m not prepared to take a firm position on restriction. I want to learn about what might have worked to prevent past attacks.”
Rubio doubled down the next day, insisting to Fox News host Martha MacCallum that he had meant what he said.
“I’m saying if there are indicators people are coming from parts of the world where dangerous people are living and plotting against us that should be a factor determining whether we allow people to come here from there or not,” he said.
Watch this video from Fox News’ Your World, broadcast April 25, 2013.