Miami, Florida (CNN) - Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, an influential Hispanic voice in the Republican Party, warned Tuesday that Arizona's tough new immigration law could have "unintended consequences," but said the legislation is the product of a "law enforcement crisis" going on in the state.
The law, enacted last week by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, requires police to question people suspected of being in the country illegally. Critics of the law argue that it will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics and civil rights violations.
Rubio discussed the bill for the first time after a campaign event in West Miami, where he signed official papers to run as a Republican.
"That's not really something Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state," Rubio said of the Arizona bill. "But I don't want to underestimate the level of frustration from a law enforcement aspect that exists in Arizona. You have serious violence crossing the border, and they're fed up. Particularly with federal inaction."
He did not say outright whether he opposes or supports the bill.
But Rubio said that "over time people will grow uncomfortable" with the idea of police officers stopping an individual based simply on a suspicion that he or she is in the country illegally. The Arizona measure, he said, is one reason he believes immigration "needs to be a federal issue and not a state one."
"My hope that this will be a wake up call for the federal government to take the illegal immigration problem in America seriously," he said, noting that border security and modernization of the visa system should be the two main priorities of immigration reform.
As for the ongoing saga surrounding the future of his Republican primary rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio maintained that he is focused on his own campaign and would not comment on mounting speculation that Crist may continue his Senate bid as an independent.
Rubio, an outspoken conservative on fiscal matters, pledged not to moderate his message in the general election in an appeal to centrist Florida voters.
"I think my positions are mainstream American positions that talk about limited government, the free enterprise system, how the world is in a better place when America is the strongest country on the world," he said. "Who I am and why I am running is not going to change based on a political calculus. I believe that my message will get me elected to the U.S. Senate."
You are right Mr. Rubio, We want the borders shut !
Then everyone who is arrested or pulled over for any other reason should have their names run, if they are in the country illegally then out they go. That sir, is not a police state. That is simply upholding the law.
Sorry Rubio ... If you're in this country illegally, Arizona has the right to throw you out! America was built by immigration, but done in a lawful manner, with papers and permission.
There is no valid argument against the new Arizona law - besides, if the feds aren't going to secure our borders, the states will have to step up.
That's it! Take away his tea party crown.
Wait, maybe the legal Hispanics in the country should create t-shirts that read, Arizona: Don't Tread On Me! Now, there's a tea party I could join.
Well well well. He's seen a light. I will have to pay more attention to him in future, see if he has any ideas for a federal solution.
From what I've seen in Florida lately, they could use a law like Arizona's.
I would like to see Rubio spend a couple of days on the southern border of Arizona and really see what is going on in this state. Everyone seems to be saying Az goes too far but isn't murder, drug smuggling, kidnapping and stealing going too far also? I believe that our Governor did the right thing. As Gov. of Az. Napalitono didn't do much to curb the illegals and now she comdemns the bill recently passed. Maybe now it will be a wake up call for the Government.
This show's this man is for himself and not the people he has no place in the peoples seat .
You specifically mislead the readers! Your quote "requires police to question people suspected of being in the country illegally" is not true. You conveniently forgot to mention "during Lawful contact" meaning while interviewed for speeding, or other legitimate reasons!
It is wrong to stir the pot this way on such an emotional issue!
RUBIO – You need to say where YOU STAND!!!!! If you agree with the new law – say it!!! If you don't, say why you don't!!!!!!!
You are caught between a ROCK and a HARD PLACE and TRUTH will set you free one way or the other!!! Beating around the bush only suggests that you are for the ‘new profiling law’ and you will lose a lot of 'your “people of color' votes. If you are 'against' the ‘unconstitutional” law, then you will lose all of your FAR-RIGHT, Tea Party, et al endorsements!!! The people in Florida should force YOU to make a decision!!!
So, this should be a federal issue, but other things, like who is able to get health care, should be state issues???? Dude, you don't make any sense. I'm guessing your tea bagging state's rights friends will be a bit upset with you...prepare to backtrack on Faux News!.
Mr. Rubio is just playing safe!
Pure and simple, period!!
"over time people will grow uncomfortable" with the idea of police officers stopping an individual based simply on a suspicion that he or she is in the country illegally. "
If you read the bill, which he obviously has not. You will discover that it starts with the phrase, "In the course of his/her normal duties..." They simply cannot stop someone because they think they are illegal. If they stop them for a traffic violation and during the course of that event it becomes apparent that they may not be legal residents then they can ask them to provide proof that they are. If they can not then they can be taken to jail to determine if they are legal residents.
I love the mainstream media and politicians, they only tell a little bit of the truth just to get people stirred up and to vote for them because they are "doing something about it". Why isn't this guy doing something about the dangerous situation along our borders?
"Rubio criticizes controversial Arizona immigration law"
Good for Marco!
God for us Hispanics!
... and most importantly:
Good for America!
I have always pegged him as a HINO (or is it LINO?)
Go pay your AMEX bill.
Who will listen to a crook?