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Marco Rubio's Forgotten DREAM

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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) continues to criticize the President’s smart move to protect DREAM-eligible young people from deportation—despite clear similarities between Obama’s action and the bill Rubio has talked about introducing for months.  In an interview with Florida reporters, Rubio said the Obama program will end up binge a “bureaucratic nightmare” and make it more difficult to enact a permanent solution in Congress, according to La Opinion.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

These criticisms from Rubio are . . . interesting.  The Obama Deferred Action plan requires no more bureaucracy than anything Rubio could create, but it will allow talented young people to pursue their dreams—a goal Rubio claims to share.  What’s more, Rubio ignores the fact that we would have a permanent solution in place today if just a few more Republican senators had said yes in 2010.

President Obama has already said that the Deferred Action program is simply a ‘stop-gap’ measure, and that Congress needs to act on a lasting fix.  As a U.S. Senator with the power to write new laws, Rubio could be looking for ways to build on what the President has done, instead of chastising him for taking action.  All he has to do is introduce a bill, work with Democrats, and bring along enough Republican votes for it to clear the Senate and House.  Perhaps Rubio realized he was going to have an uphill battle passing legislation with Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) calling the shots on immigration for the GOP.

Rubio’s criticisms have been echoed by other leading Republicans who have been flummoxed by how to respond to the President’s popular immigration move.  In his much-maligned speech at the NALEO conference in June, Mitt Romney refused to explain whether he would keep or rescind the DREAMer policy as president, claiming only, “I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President’s temporary measure.”  Meanwhile, Romney’s most specific policy prescription regarding DREAMers remains his infamous pledge to veto the DREAM Act during the Republican primary campaign.

“The movement to extend citizenship to DREAMers and their families will only grow.  The key question for Senator Rubio and other Republicans is whether they will be part of the solution, or continue to stand on the sidelines,” said Tramonte.