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- 06-15-2012, 08:54 PM #1
Marco Rubio's super-cautious response to Obama on immigration
Marco Rubio's super-cautious response to Obama on immigration
By SEUNG MIN KIM | 6/15/12 1:43 PM EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio could not have been more careful in responding to President Barack Obama’s aggressive new immigration move on Friday.
In one part of his statement he praised the general idea behind Obama’s policy directive to stop deporting some children of illegal immigrants:
“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future,” said Rubio, who called the policy move “welcome news” for undocumented children and teenagers in legal limbo.
But he also criticized Obama’s unilateral move to bypass Congress: “By once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”
And Rubio isn’t sure Obama’s move – while it may please Hispanic voters in the short run – is a long term solution.
“This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy ... will make harder to achieve in the long run.”
His cautious, parsed statement shows just how important Rubio is to Republicans when it comes to the immigration debate.
He not only is a top contender to join Mitt Romney on the national GOP ticket in an election year where both parties are courting the Latino vote, the high-profile freshman senator has been working quietly to build a coalition among both Democrats and Republicans to draft a compromise version of the DREAM Act that would stop short of full citizenship for young illegal immigrants. A text of the bill hasn’t been released, but Rubio recently said the Congressional Budget Office was examining his proposal.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has pushed for the DREAM Act for more than a decade, speculated that Friday’s announcement could aid Rubio’s efforts to forge a compromise.
“If he can produce Republican votes to get this done, I’m going to stand with him,” he told POLITICO, later adding that “he has a tough assignment and I think he genuinely supports the DREAM Act and I want to give him the time.”
“What the president did is what [Rubio] asked for in the bill, that’s the way [Rubio] described it to us,” Durbin added.
Other congressional conservatives took a much harder line against Obama’s announcement.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) also criticized Obama for circumventing Congress and said he would immediately begin investigating whether the policy change would lead to selective enforcement by Border Patrol agents.
“President Obama’s decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with the American people,” added House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “It also blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy.”
Marco Rubio's super-cautious response to Obama on immigration - POLITICO.com
- 06-16-2012, 01:36 AM #2
GOP Sen. Rubio says deportation leniency is 'welcome news'
By Mike Lillis - 06/15/12
A GOP senator on the short list to be Mitt Romney's running mate is applauding President Obama's move to forego deportations for some illegal immigrants.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the more lenient policy is "welcome news" for those immigrants who will benefit, though he was quick to knock the administration for acting unilaterally.
“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem," the Cuban-American Rubio said in a statement. "And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”
Rubio's comments are a stark contrast to those coming from other Republicans, who are blasting the new rules as a threat to U.S. jobs and – in the words of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) – "possibly illegal."
Rubio's remarks also further complicate the position of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who took a hard conservative line against illegal immigrants amid the heat of the GOP primary but is now searching for ways to soften that stance to appeal to Hispanic voters, who will be vital in a number of swing states in November.
Neither Romney nor GOP leaders on Capitol Hill – including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – have weighed in on the new policy.
It's not the first time Rubio has bucked his party on immigration. Earlier in the year, the freshman Republican vowed he'll be introducing a version of the Dream Act – which would offer legal resident status for certain illegal immigrant students and military personnel – and urged GOP leaders, including Romney, to get onboard.
"There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future," Rubio said Friday. "This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run."
Rubio has yet to introduce his Dream Act bill.
Perhaps recognizing the GOP's dilemma, the Obama administration's new rules will allow qualifying illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children to remain in the country. The policy does not go as far as the current version of the Dream Act – there's no pathway to citizenship, for instance – but it would allow beneficiaries to work without fear of deportation.
"Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday in a statement announcing the policy. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case."
The change builds on the DHS's move last August to provide new leniency for young illegal immigrants by eliminating blanket exile for those in the process of being deported.
Instead, DHS officials said they will perform case-by-case reviews, prioritizing violent criminals and other public threats, while closing the books on students and others they deem harmless.
Immigrant rights advocates welcomed the move, but warned at the time that the new policy would be only as good as DHS's adherence to it.
Friday's announcement is indication that the agency has heeded those warnings from the left and won't shy from its vows to spare young illegals deportation.
Still, both the White House and Capitol Hill Democrats were quick to caution that the administration's move is no substitute for congressional action on the Dream Act.
"The president’s actions were necessary due to the gridlock which has sadly become a normal condition for Congress," Rep. Charlie Gonzales (D-Texas), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement. "[But] a legislative remedy is still needed."
Obama last September said he's not able to halt deportations unilaterally by executive order.
"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case," he said during an interview with Univision.
Friday's policy change was made through the DHS, however, not by executive order.
The change takes effect immediately.
source: GOP Sen. Rubio says deportation leniency is 'welcome news' - TheHill.comU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!