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Move Over “Obama Phone,” Say ‘Hola!’ to the Marco Rubio Immigration Phone, AKA MarcoPhone


Marco-Rubio-Phone-269x300With the new ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’ finally being filed in the U.S. Senate, concerns over how much money the immigration reform bill will cost an already debt-ridden United States continues to swirl among Americans who are already strapped for cash.

According to the newly filed bill, immigrants who are allowed to enter the United States under a work visa, will be ‘granted’ a taxpayer funded cellular phone. Move over “Obama phone,” we present the new ‘Hola, Como Estas?!’ MarcoPhone.

Here is the actual mention of the free phones in the bill-


The Secretary, in consultation with the governors of the States in the Southwest Border region, shall establish a 2-year grant program, to be administered by the Secretary, to improve emergency communications in the Southwest

ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.—An individual  is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she— (A) regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region;  is at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border. (3) USE OF GRANTS.—Grants awarded under  this subsection may be used to purchase satellite  telephone communications systems and service  that— (A) can provide access to 9–1–1 service; and  (B) are equipped with global positioning

You would think that the government agency where these immigrants initially applied for their guest worker visa, was already situated in an urban environment with adequate cell phone service, right?  Something tells me that these quest workers will not be taking a short cut through the  the ‘cell phone signal-less’desert to get to and from work.

Update-According to some politicos involved with helping craft this bill, the phones in question are for ranchers and locals that can prove they reside 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? 

Update Numero Dos

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?

 Maybe Marco should have clarified this in the bill, perhaps inserting a start date to establish residency? Click here to read Rubio’s response to the MarcoPhone.

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About author

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor, as well as one of NewsmaxTV's conservative commentators. Javier has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at

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  1. Wayne April 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The so called “Obama Phone” program, was started by Ronald Reagan, so it should be referred to as “Reagan Phones”.

    • ComradeAnon April 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Watch out Wayne. Posting facts will get you banned here.

      • Sarah April 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

        Why are the recipients of ReaganPhones not staunch republicans? Why do they only look to Obama for freebies?

        • RPK May 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm

          Because Reagan is dead and many of them are uneducated. They are looking to get the phone from whomever is going to give it to them – white / black, republican / democrat, man / woman.

  2. Jake April 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Sec. 1107 doesn’t mention “cell phones,” it says “satellite phones” – which have a significantly higher price tag for both equipment and airtime.

    Currently, an Iridium handheld satellite phone runs about $1,500 and the airtime costs a whopping $1.35 per minute. The Inmarsat handheld phone is also roughly $1,500 with an airtime cost of $1.05 per minute to a landline (mobile company charges are added to call a mobile phone).

    • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Its’ implied. “An individual is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she— (A) regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region”

      It also states that the grant given out “maybe” used to buy satellite communications.Again, “maybe” used.

      • ZZMike April 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        “.Again, “may be” used.”

        OK, then, maybe they can buy other stuff, like cars and trucks. All the “stuff” needs is 9-1-1 access and a GPS.

      • AndyWas April 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        There is no means testing for these phones, unlike the Obamaphones. The bill is clearly designed for those outside of cell phone coverage areas, who have no access to 911 calling. There is no other solution BUT a satellite phone, as it clearly states. This line item alone could cost billions of dollars. Imagine a hundreds of thousands or more people qualifying for these phones (since you only have to live or work in the SW border region to get one), with handset and minutes, the bill would be staggering. $1500 per phone plus $1.50 per minute.
        Outrageous giveaway.

        • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm

          Again, are they talking about legal residents only, or all residents, legal or not?

  3. Glenn April 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The article makes it sound like these phones would be for the newly not illegal aliens. My reading is that it is intended for ranchers and other citizens in those areas. Problem is the language does not specify and limit the provision and we all know how this can become very abused. With this bill running to an ObamaCare like 1500 pages I would be surprized if there are not many things like this. The wording on this particular item needs to be changed and really, the bill needs to be vastly reduced in length so our representatives might actually read it.

  4. Larry Jones April 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Um, did you even read the bill language you cited? It has nothing to do with giving phones to illegals. It has everything to do w/ providing emergency 911 access to U.S. residents who live in areas of high border violence that don’t have reliable 911 service.

    Are you retarded or just functionally illiterate?

    • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Go back and read the language. It is implied. How many illegal immigrants are living and working along the border. Why do you think this is inserted in the immigration bill to begin with?

      • Damaso Santana April 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Javier as we say in Miami, the bus left without you, having said that I do not read anywhere that these phones are to be given to illegals, it seems to imply that they are to be given to residents of these areas in order to contact authorities in emergencies, hardly the acts of an illegal.
        I read your blogs daily but do not agree on this one.


        • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          You said it yourself-“residents.” How many illegal “residents” live in Miami, or elsewhere in the United States?

          • Al Miller April 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

            Stick to your “guns” Javier while Congress still let’s you own them. Looks like the gun bill is in trouble. If the bomber is a Saudi, pictures of a guy with a backpack before and after, seem to point to it – the amnesty bill may be in trouble. Boston is a sanctuary city for illegals. I guess a sanctuary for terrorists as well. They want cameras and cops on every corn like Fidel and Hugo Chavez.

            Sadly, RINO Rubio is as bad as Bill Nelson and the others Dems. Marco pulled this garbage in Florida state govt. The FL GOP is infested with RINOs. Maybe Pitbull can do a rap about Marco Phones.

      • 24AheadDotCom April 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        Rubio already explained why it’s in the bill: due to a cause celebre.

        There are at least two big outs: the person has to “demonstrate” various things, and it doesn’t say the feds will pick up the entire tab for the phones. It could be dealt with by an amendment, thereby rendering all the objections on this page moot. In fact, it might have even been made so vague in order to generate the expected “Obama Phones OMG!” response.

        P.S. At my site I split the bill into parts (one section per page) and I’m urging people to leave thoroughly thought through comments on each section.

        • Javier Manjarres April 18, 2013 at 12:22 am

          Finally someone who is picking up on this. Rubio back-peddled after we called him out on this. An amendment is need to specify what he said on the radio today. Rubio stated that these phones are for “U.S. Citizens and residents only.”

          The bill does not state that. Bill also doesn’t state that this is specifically for Ranchers, those are his words after the fact.

    • brian April 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Larry Jones- The bill doesn’t say “US residents”….it says “individual”- you need to read the bill!

    • ZZMike April 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Nice try, but absolutely wrong. Here’s a cut-and-pste from the bill:

      “An individual is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection ….”

      It says nothing about ranchers or citizens. Most likely, ranchers would want to take advantage of this.

      Though a grant for ranchers to buy AK-47s would be more practical. How long do you think a 9-1-1 response time would be?

  5. M Courier April 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    It is NOT Implied….It’s all in your head. All this does is send liberals yelling we are making this crap up and they have a point.

    • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      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?

    • Damaso Santana April 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Could not agree more

    • Al Miller April 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Liberals? Why should we worry about liberals when RINOs like Rubio, McCain, Graham-nesty and others are selling us out. Rubio is a fraud. I never voted Dem but unless Rubio is “primaried” in FL then I will vote against him in any race. He is as evil as that creep and fake hillbilly Bill Nelson.

  6. Larry Jones April 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    It’s not implied at all. You inferred it. Why is it in the immigration bill in the first place? Probably to expand 911 access to people who live in areas with shitty 911 service.

    Seriously, how is this difficult?

    This bill is a gigantic, steaming turd. It’s awful policy. But picking out one of the few things in it that actually doesn’t suck, deliberately twisting it around to give meaning where none exists, all to get traffic to your crappy website is a pretty lame way to criticize the bill.

    • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      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?

      • Larry Jones April 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        First, the question of why the government would pay to provide access to government-run and government-funded emergency response services such as 911 kind of answers itself.

        Second, I love that you selectively edited the actual provision in the bill and then claimed ignorance as to why it would be in the bill.

        Is there a reason you refused to excerpt the entirety of section 1107? Is there a reason you hid from your readers the additional funding to help local border agents better respond to reports of violence in the area?

        Look, I get that you’re absolutely desperate for traffic. But that’s no excuse for making stuff up.

        • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          LOL!! The pertinent section of the phone measure is posted in its entirety.

          • Larry Jones April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

            You deliberately cut out the MAJORITY of Sec. 1107. It’s not a long section at all. And yet you cut it out and then wonder why people think you’re completely full of shit.

    • Al Miller April 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Rubio needs to be investigated over any connection to TracPhone. We have seen how well investigations in Congress work out with Rangel, Menendez, Reid, Pelosi and all the others.

      Keep digging and looking Javier and others. Rubio is dirty. I am not anti-Latino. Bob Martinez was probably the best gov Florida EVER had. Some may say he was an anglicized Latino but Martinez is a good man. One of the few non-RINOs in the GOP. Bob fought for CCW and faced a lot of heat. He would have made a good President too.

  7. OldmanRick April 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Marko, baby, did you even read the bill before trying to peddle it to the American people? It would seem like with most politicos, you parasitic bottom feeders have to pass a bill before finding out what’s in it. Can’t you guys read? Or do you first have to open mouth, insert foot, and be shown the fool.

    Your progressive dim is showing through the façade.

  8. Mike Hathaway April 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    All of the morass of misguided public programs starts out with some good intention. Javier is right on his take – the intention may be to provide ranchers and others with a means to call for help, but it is not tightly worded enough to avoid abuse – and even if it were, once initiated, these programs all suffer from mission-creep and bloat.

    Ranchers and such people living in rural areas are pretty independent – they aren’t usually the call for help and wait helpless types. A better approach would be to restore the self-defense civil rights of our citizens and issue them m-16s and grenade launchers. If unauthorized people trespassing across their lands were legally deemed a threat and doing so becomes dangerous for the trespassers, most of this problem goes away.

  9. Al Miller April 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I warned people that Rubio was 100% for amnesty and was Mel Martinez 2 aka not a real conservative. We never heard why Mel quit. I loathed Charlie Crist but voted for Rubio. Marco is apparently worse than Crist.

    Any information on Rubio’s connection to TracPhone in Miami. We are seeing how sanctuary cities have worked so well with sanctuary for illegals and terrorists. Kudos to Javier for exposing Rubio. Keep up the good work Javier.

  10. Trent April 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    The bill is clear, the phones are for border residents to aid in enforcement and to enhance their safety. This has long been a priority for conservatives. That the author of this post misunderstands that is, hopefully, a reflection only of honest ignorance.

    • Javier Manjarres April 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Again, if you are a border resident, it doesn’t mean that you are a legal resident of the US. How many illegals are border residents?

  11. Treena April 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the bill says or how it is funded. Owning a phone is a RIGHT. Every single American should have a cellular phone and a home phone, funded by the govt. It is the same as healthcare, food, education, housing, and birth control. All those things are rights as well, and should be state funded. So what if we give a few immigrants a phone? Is that really going to break us a nation. We have enough money to go around for all, Americans need to stop with the greed and start looking out for each other. Corporations get more welfare than poor people, yet all I hear the teabaggers doing is condemning and bashing low-income families who depend on food stamps and rely on housing subsidies just to survive. Food stamps do not feed dependency they feed children, and this program doesn’t hand out welfare, it hands out a way for poor families to call 911 if they have a crisis going on. How could any human being with a heart and soul be against setting up programs to help the poor, sick, disabled, single mothers, and minorities in this nation? Something is wrong with the right-wing faction of America, so cold hearted and uncaring about your fellow man, but you want to give children guns and use public school time and funding to teach them to shoot at one another then use brainwashing to tell them it is the only way to protect themselves, then you deny gays equality and continue with this war against women. You wonder why the majority of America love and support Obama? At least the man is trying to unify this country and bring us together for good. At least he stands up for all people, and makes sure every American will be taken care of and now will have free access to healthcare, medicine, and birth control. At least he has a place in his heart for the children of America and is doing what he can to try and reduce violence in schools to keep them safe. The Democratic party has always worked for civil liberties, tolerance, fairness and equality for ALL people regardless of who they are or their situation. It doesn’t matter if someone is working forty hours a week or unemployed, they deserve to have the same things and be level on the same playing field. Those who can work, should be happy to provide a portion of their earnings to help those who can’t work. It doesn’t matter why someone is unable to work, it just matters we don’t let them starve to death, become homeless, be denied education, or refused access to a doctor when they are sick or hurt. Everyone would work if they could, people are not out of work by choice. It is because they are suffering with health problems, mental disability, learning issues, there are not enough jobs in their are due to REPUBLICAN POLICIES, they don’t have adequate transportation, are being discriminated against because of color, gender, religion, or sexual preference, or are undereducated and unskilled at no fault of their own. I say hand a phone to every single American right now! Hand them to so-called “illegal immigrants” also. Why by the way , is a nasty, bigoted, ignorant, racist term. Just because someone is Hispanic, doesn’t make them any less of an American or “illegal.” They are coming here, the same way ALL OF OUR ancestors came here to try and form a better life. Unless you are 100% Native American by blood, you have NO room calling any other person who comes here, by whatever means they come here, an “illegal.” If we’d open our borders and get over our stereotyping, fear, and intolerance of other people, and learn to embrace, accept, and enjoy other cultures, they wouldn’t be illegal and America wouldn’t have an issue. Our economy would boost and start booming because of what they can contribute with their knowledge, labor and taxation, and the drug problem would end also. There would be less drug trafficking and less murders, less children put at risk and used as pawns…the entire system would improve and be better for all. I’d like to finish by also saying that Mexicans owned and were the rightful and original residents of the very land we live on now called we call the “U.S” it was part of Mexico and part of Native American lands FIRST. It was stolen from both those cultures of people by violence, force, war, disease, torture, tormenting, injustice, lies, murder, and corruption. So it doesn’t bother me much when I see Latino pro-immigration groups demonstrating! I’d be upset too if MY land was taken from me, then I was kicked off, pushed down into a different country, fenced out, then told I can’t come in and if I do I will be shot!

    • Sick of it! April 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

      You, my dear, are seriously deluded. But keep on keeping on, sheep! I am not even going to bother to point out all the fallacies of your comments because you wouldn’t get it. You are the one who has been brainwashed, and by the way, others people’s hard earned money only goes so far. So when ALL of America is in poverty, look back at your post and congratulate yourself on your holier than thou attitude while you and all your fellow Americans are destitute. But, hey, at least we will all be in it together!…. Idiot!

      • Balance April 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        Treena, what is the total amount that you’ve paid in taxes annually for the last five years? I’m willing you bet it’s a negligible amount and you’re just another angry liberal who wants to spend other people’s money while affording power hungry politicians more power in the name of “fairness.”

        Seriously, read what you posted again. You are just a foaming at the mouth liberal who displays a complete lack of independent thought.

  12. zeyda April 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

    please note that there is no mention and/or reference to illegals. the bill refers to them as aliens but it purposely clerifies what type of alien. once the illegal enters he is referred to as an alien and allowing them to begin their immigration process to file for legal residency. but where in the bill does it talk about measures to be taken to stop illegal entry? this is pure amnesty and Rubio had me fooled. What about securing the border? The phone grant is 500,000,000 and intended to give illegals security from harm by drug dedealers and human traffickers.

    Marco….congratulations….you got yourselt a few extra votes for your next election. But you have lost votes from those of us that played by the rules and waited years in tierny to be given the honor to enter this country. I was 9 but the FBI screened and fingerprrirnted me and my family….I kissed the ground wheen we arrived because I cclould appreciate whatd honor we were given…the process took us 10 years and our family sponsors here in the US had to agree to the government that they wouod be responsibpe for our needs.

  13. Lighweight April 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

    TelMex a Mexican owned company that makes the TRAC PHONE known as the Obama-phone.The owner of the company donated big money to the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.I wonder if this is why he gets the business ? I guess Rubio too has the same friendly support Obama does ? Politiics is just a network of the same friends ?

  14. Perseids April 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Cellphones or any kind of damn phone are not the issue. Why would anyone even be surprised by such an inclusion. Could it be vague by design? like everything else they slip through?

    Isn’t the devil always found in the unintended consequences of these rancid monstrosities?

    I’d gladly give every illegal and legal a cell phone to send Marco Bush Rubio and his amnesty scumbags packing of to the border for deportation. This fight is over Our Freedom! Not ancillary expenditures.

    Give them a lock on the electorate and we are screwed, period. The Constitution will be so much toilet paper to these wanna be tyrants. Obama will willingly pack the court if needed. Who will stop him post amnesty? Rubio? Jeb?
    Open your eyes. At this point Rubio IS the enemy, period! read: Stealth backstabber.

  15. David A. Doan April 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Ok, I’ve lived here legally for 66 years, worked hard, raised a family, paid taxes. When do I get my free stuff?

  16. scottd April 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Have you even read the bill? Apparently not.

    “Bloggers charge that new immigration legislation includes “a taxpayer funded cellular phone” for new immigrants. Their evidence is based on something else entirely: a public safety program aimed at beefing up border security.”

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Move Over “Obama Phone,” Say ‘Hola!’ to the Marco Rubio Immigration Phone, AKA MarcoPhone

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