Senator Marco Rubio’s remarks at the summit were both personal and responsive to critics (on the left and the right). The full speech:

Statistics show the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes committed in the U.S. Twelve percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences are meted out to illegal immigrants.

The statistics cited come from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Government Accountability Office, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and several state and county correctional departments. Read more about this independent study here.

Additionally, the Obama Administration has released known criminals from prison through the President’s Executive Orders related to immigration. Read more about these released criminals here.

Another articulate spokesman for the welfare state defends liberalism as “meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government.” I for one find it disturbing when a representative refers to the free men and women of this country as “the masses,” but beyond this, “the full power of centralized government” was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew you can’t control things; you can’t control the economy without controlling people. So we have come to a time for choosing. Either we accept the responsibility for our own destiny, or we abandon the American Revolution and confess that an intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. – Ronald Reagan

Charles Kesler of the Claremount Institute has an excellent essay comparing “The Obama Transformation versus the Reagan Revolution.” You can read the full essay here.

You’ll find additional Reagan – Obama comparisons here and here.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is on course to run dry in 2016, at which point it will be able to pay only about 80 percent of current benefits. Despite health improvements and technological advancements, the SSDI rolls have continued to rise, with more than 5 percent of working-age individuals now receiving benefits. Substantial inefficiencies, adverse incentives, outdated standards, and widespread fraud and abuse plague the program. – The Heritage Foundation

Almost 11 million Americans are currently eligible for SS Disability benefits. Unless SSDI is reformed, the program will be forced to immediately reduce total benefits by 20% to recipients in 2016. Further reductions are likely in the near future. The Social Security Agency is considering eligibility changes to avoid insolvency and to maintain full disability benefits to those who need it most. (More details are available here.)

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Here are a few highlights from both Republican debates yesterday:

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