Rubio Calls Free Phone Charges 'False and Reckless,' Immigration Bill's Provision 'Important to Securing Our Border'

April 17, 2013 - 2:23 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) promptly responded to reports claiming the immigration bill provides free cell phones to immigrants with work visas, calling them "false and reckless."

"Report that claims #immigrationreform gives immigrants free cell phones is false & reckless," Rubio tweeted. The tweet contained a link that led back to a press release entitled, "MYTH vs. FACT: The Perils Of Peddling An "Amnesty Phone" Myth."

"In addition to enhancing technology and fencing at the border, the 'Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013' includes a provision to give rural residents and business owners near the Mexican border access to cell service and phones so they can quickly report border violence to the police and the Department of Homeland Security," says the press release.

It goes on to say the provision was included in the "Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011" after a rancher was murdered because he did not have the means to communicate with law enforcement officials.

"This provision was included in the "Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011", in response to the case of Robert Krentz, an Arizona rancher who was murdered on his property and did not have the ability to communicate directly with law enforcement because of his rural location. Giving people living and working on the Mexican border the ability to communicate directly with law enforcement is important to securing our border."

Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank first wrote of "Marco Phones" comparing them to the infamous "Obama Phone." His blog post was subsequently picked up by other outlets and eventually made it's way on the DRUDGE Report.

Manjarres later added two updates to his post saying politicos involved in crafting the bill say the phones are for ranchers on the border. He also held fast to the notion immigrants who live and work near the border would still receive these phones.

"According to some politicos involved with helping craft this bill, the phones in question are for ranchers and locals that can prove that they resided along the border. It is obvious that immigrants are also afforded this privilege, since many of them live and work along the border. Why else would it be in an immigration reform bill? And why are taxpayers asked to flip the bill?"

The second update reads, "Rubio told Laura Ingraham that the reported "MarcoPhone" was "not for the illegal immigrant," but " for the US citizens and residents who live along the border." But according to the legislation that he helped write,  those "residing" along the border are not identified as being U.S. Citizens or even U.S. residents. So what's 'it going to be, Marco?"

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