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Marco Rubio: illegal immigration amnesty supporter, or not?

Marco Rubio is the Republican former Speaker of the Florida Assembly who - together with fellow Republican Charlie Crist - will be running for Senate; Rubio is running as a conservative against the more RINO Crist. Rubio's immigration stance isn't entirely clear; some have claimed that he helped block some anti-illegal immigration bills in Florida. See the statement from Floridians for Immigration Enforcement lower down this page or here:

Contrary to the arguments of Speaker Rubio and others, immigration enforcement is not the exclusive responsibility of the federal government. About 12 states, excluding Florida, have enacted E-Verify, 287(g) and other enforcement measures. These state-level bills have survived legal challenges and are now working very successfully... Prior to the Session the FLIMEN Political Committee received an assurance from a Rubio aide that all bills would be allowed to move. That was a lie... The trail is very clear that Speaker Rubio bottled up the bills to never move toward even a hearing. Speaker Rubio did placate Floridians by allowing a workshop but he never intended the bills to move out of committee. Speaker Rubio used his lieutenants Rivera and Zapata to smear pro-enforcement Floridians with false racial allegations.

See the low-quality video ad here, and see the Miami Herald excerpt from April 17, 2008 here:

Without the backing of House Speaker Marco Rubio, the first Cuban-American to hold the position, the bills failed to get any major play in their committees. Six weeks into the session, a three-hour workshop was held on the six House bills, but even that failed to produce its desired intent of combining the bills into one larger committee bill... "Speaker Rubio outlined the priorities of the session and this didn't fall under that list,'' said Rivera, one of Rubio's lieutenants.

On this endless video, he claims it was all just a procedural issue.

In that same interview, he continually stresses his opposition to "amnesty" and says other pro-enforcement things. Aside from complaining about the "immigration debate tone" as do RINOs and other supporters of illegal immigration, he doesn't say anything that sounds like it could be a code word for comprehensive immigration reform. He does, however, say something that indicates that he might support small, specific amnesties of some kind, and he also stresses that he supports legal immigration, only opposing the illegal variety. That could indicate that he's more RINO on this issue than the interviewer was able to elicit; he might support the "free market", George W Bush variety of massive immigration involving millions of "willing workers". Unfortunately, the interviewer didn't ask him the questions that could reveal exactly what he supports and didn't ask him specific test cases designed to reveal his RINO level on this issue.

There's also the problem that Ben Smith of the Politico has promoted him (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/The_new_Republican_Obama.html), saying he's "possibly the only answer to the Republican Party's scariest, least-addressed demographic problem, its alienation of Hispanic voters."

He's certainly no Tom Tancredo, and there's a fair possibility that he'll turn out to be more like Jeb Bush when it comes down to specific legislation.

UPDATE: In this interview he speaks about Mel Martinez:

"I would just say that Mel is a friend, someone I admire and respect. . . . There's nothing about Mel that I’m disappointed in today. I think he's done the best he can under the circumstances. On immigration, he voted for a package I probably would not have voted for, because I believe that we’ve got to secure the borders in our existing system first before we can even begin to have a conversation about the other elements of immigration. . . . But I have nothing but good things to say about Mel.

"Probably"? That's not Tancredo-like. And, secure the border "first" raises the question what he'd do after, which might include some form of massive guest workers scheme or some sort of "earned legalization".Marco Rubio is the Republican former Speaker of the Florida Assembly who - together with fellow Republican Charlie Crist - will be running for Senate; Rubio is running as a conservative against the more RINO Crist. Rubio's immigration stance isn't entirely clear; some have claimed that he helped block some anti-illegal immigration bills in Florida. See the statement from Floridians for Immigration Enforcement lower down this page or here:

Contrary to the arguments of Speaker Rubio and others, immigration enforcement is not the exclusive responsibility of the federal government. About 12 states, excluding Florida, have enacted E-Verify, 287(g) and other enforcement measures. These state-level bills have survived legal challenges and are now working very successfully... Prior to the Session the FLIMEN Political Committee received an assurance from a Rubio aide that all bills would be allowed to move. That was a lie... The trail is very clear that Speaker Rubio bottled up the bills to never move toward even a hearing. Speaker Rubio did placate Floridians by allowing a workshop but he never intended the bills to move out of committee. Speaker Rubio used his lieutenants Rivera and Zapata to smear pro-enforcement Floridians with false racial allegations.

See the low-quality video ad here, and see the Miami Herald excerpt from April 17, 2008 here:

Without the backing of House Speaker Marco Rubio, the first Cuban-American to hold the position, the bills failed to get any major play in their committees. Six weeks into the session, a three-hour workshop was held on the six House bills, but even that failed to produce its desired intent of combining the bills into one larger committee bill... "Speaker Rubio outlined the priorities of the session and this didn't fall under that list,'' said Rivera, one of Rubio's lieutenants.

On this endless video, he claims it was all just a procedural issue.

In that same interview, he continually stresses his opposition to "amnesty" and says other pro-enforcement things. Aside from complaining about the "immigration debate tone" as do RINOs and other supporters of illegal immigration, he doesn't say anything that sounds like it could be a code word for comprehensive immigration reform. He does, however, say something that indicates that he might support small, specific amnesties of some kind, and he also stresses that he supports legal immigration, only opposing the illegal variety. That could indicate that he's more RINO on this issue than the interviewer was able to elicit; he might support the "free market", George W Bush variety of massive immigration involving millions of "willing workers". Unfortunately, the interviewer didn't ask him the questions that could reveal exactly what he supports and didn't ask him specific test cases designed to reveal his RINO level on this issue.

There's also the problem that Ben Smith of the Politico has promoted him (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/The_new_Republican_Obama.html), saying he's "possibly the only answer to the Republican Party's scariest, least-addressed demographic problem, its alienation of Hispanic voters."

He's certainly no Tom Tancredo, and there's a fair possibility that he'll turn out to be more like Jeb Bush when it comes down to specific legislation.

UPDATE: In this interview he speaks about Mel Martinez:

"I would just say that Mel is a friend, someone I admire and respect. . . . There's nothing about Mel that I’m disappointed in today. I think he's done the best he can under the circumstances. On immigration, he voted for a package I probably would not have voted for, because I believe that we’ve got to secure the borders in our existing system first before we can even begin to have a conversation about the other elements of immigration. . . . But I have nothing but good things to say about Mel.

"Probably"? That's not Tancredo-like. And, secure the border "first" raises the question what he'd do after, which might include some form of massive guest workers scheme or some sort of "earned legalization".

UPDATE 2: It's become clear that Rubio is very George W Bush-like on immigration. See his name's link above for the latest.

Wed, 05/13/2009 - 05:53 · Importance: 4