To Break Stalemate on Immigration, Sen. Rubio’s Shift in Tone Must Be Matched By Shift in Policy from Sen. Rubio and Others in GOP
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today spoke to the Hispanic Leadership Network forum in Miami about immigration policy and politics. He called on his fellow Republicans to change their immigration rhetoric and criticized Democrats for what he characterized as politicizing the issue. The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“We welcome Senator Rubio’s new tone and call for bipartisan action, but we’ll know he’s serious when he announces new policy positions and brings fellow Republican Senators to the negotiating table with Democrats.
“Currently, Senator Rubio opposes the DREAM Act and opposes comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, both of which are wildly popular with Latino voters and broadly supported by strong majorities of all Americans. He supports a mandatory E-Verify scheme that, in the absence of comprehensive reform, would drive millions of Latino workers further into the cash economy dominated by unscrupulous employers. He supports the Arizona ‘show me your papers’ law, which was aimed at driving Latino immigrants from the state and if permitted to go into effect by the courts would institutionalize discrimination against all Latinos. All of these are the positions of the hardliners in his party, and very distant from those of the likes of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and former Senator Mel Martinez.
“If Senator Rubio says, ‘let’s be open to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants here’ and he actually engages with Democrats who are eager to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, then he’ll deserve to be hailed for beginning to break the partisan stalemate on immigration reform. Otherwise, this will be just another hollow Republican exercise in putting a smiley face on positions that have terrorized immigrants and cemented the GOP’s anti-immigrant brand for the fastest-growing voter group in the country.”
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