Senator Marco Rubio didn't get to address his immigration position in last night's Republican debate, but did weigh in this morning on NPR. He explains that a large comprehensive immigration reform bill isn't viable, but that he would support a three part process to reform our immigration laws. The first step predictably was to prove to the American public that our immigration laws are being enforced through empirical data evidencing the reduction of the flow of illegal immigration. The second prong will be to modernize the legal immigration system to make it merit based.

As for the third prong, he explains the we have to "realistically, but reasonably" deal with the fact that there is a substantial population in this country that is undocumented. He proposes the issuance of work authorization for a period of ten years for individuals that have been in this country who pass a background check. Recent arrivals, and individuals convicted of crimes would be excluded. After the ten year period individuals would be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency just like everyone else though existing channels. Five years after receiving a green card you would then be eligible to apply for citizenship.

This is a substantially better and a more accessible path to citizenship than what was provided in the Senate bill, and immigration reform advocates should take note as in my opinion Rubio is the only candidate in either party that has a realistic chance of getting immigration reform through a Republican controlled congress.