(CNSNews.com) - "We want to welcome immigrants into the United States," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), himself the child of immigrants, told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday.
But, he added, "There has to be a process for immigration."
Rubio said Congress should give President Trump the full $5 billion he's requesting for a border wall because "having a partial wall is not enough."
"Half of it is as good as none of it," he said.
Democrats say no to the $5 billion; they will stick with $1.6 billion for border security in the still-unfinished Homeland Security spending bill that must be passed in just a few weeks.
Rubio said partial wall would be like having half a house:
Yeah, the thing is, people view this as, oh, well, if you take half, that should be enough. You need enough to finish it. If I came to you and said, all right, I have a house for sale but I'll only sell you the second floor but not the first floor. And you're like, well, I can't have a second floor without a first floor. The wall's similar to that.
Having a partial wall is not enough. This is a project that's designed to flow traffic. What you want to do is, you want to cut off areas where people can cross so that they can only cross in certain places and then you can monitor those places.
So if the wall is not built, all 800 miles, if you don't have the entire system in place, none of it works. It's not one of those things where you can have half of it. Half of it is as good as none of it.
And the purpose of the wall is not to keep people out, per se, but to funnel the people who are allowed to come in to make sure they are entering through points of entry that we can monitor for everything from human trafficking to drugs and contraband and vice versa. And so it's actually safer for everybody.
That is the purpose of the wall -- that's the reason why we have all those little barricades and stuff at TSA so people have to walk through a line and you can monitor people when they walk through the line at the airport. It's a very similar concept.
Rubio said immigration has to be controlled: “There has to be a process for people to access generosity," he said.
What's happening on the border is a deliberate effort to test that system and to sort of create a crisis around it. And I think what you saw this weekend, look, I saw the images. No, I don't want to see images of kids being hit with tear gas and women and people running from that. No one likes those images.
What they didn't take pictures of is the hundreds and hundreds of people that were not women and were not children who were throwing rocks and bottles at law enforcement authorities and by the way they weren't just attacking U.S. Border security. They were also attaching Mexican authorities on the other side.
Now, I'm not saying that's everybody there I'm saying that's enough people there that warranted the response that you saw to get control of the situation.
Rubio said physical barriers on the border are just a short-term solution to the immigration crisis. He said the U.S. must also examine why people are leaving countries such as Honduras and Guatemala in the first place. "That's the ultimate border security."