Rubio defends immigration reform, says doing nothing is ‘amnesty’

Rubio and the other seven bipartisan members of the Gang of Eight introduced their comprehensive immigration reform plan on Tuesday, but an unveiling event was postponed until Thursday because of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants already in the country illegally, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Rubio said S. 744, isn’t perfect, but that there will be plenty of time for senators to make changes and provide input during the committee and amendment process. He said the more than 800-page bill likely wouldn’t reach the Senate floor until next month.

Republicans, including Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsMcCain: Accepting election results is 'American way' GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R-Ala.), have complained that the Gang of Eight process was behind closed doors, and have expressed concerns that the bill would be rushed to the floor.

“One other criticism is that it’s being rushed through,” Rubio said. “That’s just not true. ... People are going to have three to four weeks to review it.”

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin to look at the legislation.

Rubio said the bill requires border enforcement measures before any of the 11 million people within the United States illegally were given the opportunity to apply for a green cards.

Rubio and Sens. John McCainJohn McCainHigh anxiety for GOP Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support GOP senator: I'd consider Clinton Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamHigh anxiety for GOP NYC mayor: Trump sounds like ‘a third-world dictator’ Five takeaways from final debate MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeHigh anxiety for GOP Five takeaways from final debate Trump sparks furor at final debate MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerImmigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate poll raises Republican hopes in Pennsylvania, Florida Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs GOP Senate candidate reverses course, says he’ll vote Trump MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.