Tags: Immigration | Marco Rubio | rubio | sanctuary | cities

Rubio Backs Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

Rubio Backs Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

By    |   Tuesday, 20 October 2015 10:25 AM

As the Senate gears up to consider a bill to crackdown on sanctuary cities, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is facing heat on all sides of the immigration debate, Politico reports.

On the left, immigration advocates who were the Florida senator's allies in the 2013 immigration battle in Congress now attack him for his support of an enforcement-first policy – including border security and stopping illegal immigration – warning they'll drop him if he wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Politico reports.

"He’s being very sloppy in the way he’s answering questions," Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership, which pushes conservative causes among Latinos, tells Politico. "He’s being very vague."

And from the right, critics complain little has changed in Rubio's pro-immigration positions at a time those views are unpopular among many GOP voters.

"At this point, there’s very little he’s backed off," conservative Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions tells Politico. "On a series of issues, I don’t think he’s ever backed off of the fundamentals of the bill."

Kerri Talbot, former chief counsel for New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez – and one of the key staffers behind the Senate "Gang of Eight" bill two years ago – tells Politico the difference between Rubio's views then and now "is that he does not want to be pinned down on when exactly legalization would begin."

"It seems he does not want legalization to begin while he would be president," Talbot said.

Rubio's policy strategy lets him play both sides of the immigration divide, Frank Sharry, an immigration advocate who leads the left-leaning pro-reform group America’s Voice, tells Politico.

"He’s saying to donors and to Latinos that 'I’m still for a path to citizenship, I’m still for immigration reform. But I’ve learned the hard way'" regarding a comprehensive bill, Sharry said.

"It’s very clever. It sounds reasonable. But for people who actually know what it takes to pass legislation, especially immigration reform legislation, it’s so hollow. It has all the substance of Cheetos."

Aguilar agrees. "How long will it take? Give us an idea. How long it will take to get there?" he said. "Ten years, he supports a path to a green card which means a path to citizenship. The debate happens 10 years then? Or now? This is the problem."

"That is the kind of sloppiness that I think opens the door for a lot of people, Democrats in a general election, to question if he’s really committed to immigration reform," Aguilar adds.

Meanwhile, the conflict is playing against the Senate's consideration of a sanctuary cities bill –  spearheaded by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, and co-sponsored by Rubio and others – that would impose a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for some immigrants who repeatedly try to enter the United States illegally.

Most Senate Democrats will vote to block the bill, aides tell Politico.

According to Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, Rubio’s endorsement of the immigration crackdown bill doesn't violate "at all" the basic principles of the 2013 immigration reform bill.

"Most of us would still move ahead with comprehensive reform if we could," he says. "But absent that, most of us are willing to move ahead piecemeal if we can."


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As the Senate gears up to consider a bill to crackdown on sanctuary cities, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is facing heat on all sides of the immigration debate, Politico reports. On the left, immigration advocates who were the Florida senator's allies in the...
rubio, sanctuary, cities
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2015-25-20
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 10:25 AM
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