Rep. Gutierrez Challenges Sen. Rubio on Immigration

Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 05:42 PM

By Marti Lotman

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U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a staunch immigration advocate, is labeling U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as an “extremist” on the issue. Although the Illinois Democrat and the Florida Republican have never met, Gutierrez disparaged Rubio for opposing an immigration policy that benefited his Cuban-born parents, Politico reported.

“I can’t think of a more generous immigration policy than the one his parents benefitted from,” Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, told Politico.

“All they had to do was show up,” Gutierrez said.

The liberal Chicagoan’s comments followed on the heels of the freshman tea party senator’s first speech on the Senate floor in which he talked about his upbringing.

Gutierrez said he doesn't understand why the freshman senator backs tough immigration policies while opposing the DREAM Act, which would allow young illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military to become legal U.S. citizens.

Rubio's office issued a statement defending his policies, saying: "Senator Rubio is doing what seems to be a novel idea to some in Washington: he’s firmly upholding the campaign promises he made to Floridians. Whether it was in town halls or even a Univision debate, as a candidate, Senator Rubio repeatedly and consistently stressed border security and E-Verify would be his immediate priorities to ensure that America is not the only nation on earth that doesn’t enforce its immigration laws.

"Whether it’s immigration, the debt, or any other issue, Senator Rubio will not be breaking the promises he made to Floridians."

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