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."
so the darling of the florida tea party is standing agains the arizona tea party? this guy needs to remember his party oath!
That's it for Rubio and his party loyalty oath. Attack tea baggers, attack.
Mr. Rubio, you can't have it both ways ... where do you stand?
Do you believe we live in a country where Latino should be stopped and asked to produce "their papers"? YES or NO?
Stop hiding behind the excuse of "law & order" as if illegal immigration is the cause of crime.
The crime and home invasions that is being referenced is due to drugs. Mexican drug cartels are seeking to get their money. Had Republicans cracked down on suburban drug users [white drug users] 20 years ago, the seeds for the crime they are complaining about today would not have been sowed.
The violence that has been seen is due to the rampant GUN RUNNING ... the flow of weapons to the drug cartels in Mexico. When Republicans idiotically fought against the ASSAULT WEAPONS ban they ENABLED this type of HOME INVASIONS and the wild west shoot-outs that is prompting white Arizonians to embrace this 1070 bill.
Mr. Rubio, you'll need to talk about the details and come up with solutions ... not just comment from afar.
I like to see Rubio go to Arizona and get stop and check and
question I think that we should start checking the people in
florida to see if there illegal to maybe some of them came from
cuba and are still here
Rubio the upstart sounds like a seasoned pol already. Is he for the law or against? Gee we don't know, just clip the soundbite portion that serves your needs and keep the other half in your pocket to counter the criticism.
Sounds as if this Republican likes big government after all – when it's doing the enforcement work states don't want to pay for.
He is very quick to go against the republican party regarding immigration. He has way way way too many Latino votes to lose in Florida. Amazing how a conservative right wing republican can change their views. Florida needs to run a Latino for Senate. Not just a pseudo representative. This is your republican party who wants to discriminate against you because of your heritage. Remember this in November.
He's right !
Az don't know the difference between Cuba and Mexico !
Funny, how Rubio warns the crowd about it then talks out of the other side of his mouth saying "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. Stop being a double talker. IT IS WRONG!!!
NOT, by not condemning this RACIST BILL, he just should of kept his mouth shut on the topic, he just kissed good-bye any votes from the hispanic community he would have gotten. I agree it has to be frustrating for law enforcement with the surge of drugs and people crossing illegally, but with regards to the drugs, crack down on the demand for drugs from the US, and take it to Corporate America who hire the immigrants who are here illegally, cheap labor is a way of life for us Americans, hey how many companies have their products mass produced over seas. When pruchasing clothes, shoes, appliances how many labels do you see saying 'MADE IN THE US". If the companies wouldn't hire then why come. The companies who knowingly hire immigrants should be fined heavily.
Didn't Rubio get the memo? All good tea baggers are supposed to love this new law. At any rate, he's going to lose to the independant Crist.
Good to hear that he is somewhat against the new law in AZ. I agree that it should stay at a federal level and something should be done ASAP. I think the Obama administration has made it clear that they will tackle immigration reform before midterms. Even though, some republicans don't want that to happen because it will hurt their chances at the voting booths. That's slimeball tactics which I have grown accustomed to when it comes to republicans.
worry about Florida Rubio, we will take care of the illegals here in the West.
What a weasle. Doesn't have the guts to say whether he supports or opposes the AZ bill. And then, the hypocrite tries to sound principled by saying that he does not wish to 'moderate his message' to get elected!! And to think that people believe in this drivel!
By not opposing the racists AZ law, Rubio is a traitor to his own race. Cubans have a special deal to claim political asylum. No other country receives this special treatment. Rubio is an apologist for the big government nanny state where police officers have a blank check to harass anyone, by claiming they suspected the person did not have proof of legal status.
That is the only thing that I agree with that Rubio has said. Why do you not print the fact that he like the rest of the "Tea Party" want to do away with Social Security and Medicare.
I am sure all of our Florida Seniors would love to hear that fact. Getting close to retirement myself. Keep voting for these people without listening to them will be a mistake for our parents and our children.
What happens when Billy Bob gets pulled over by officer Lopez?
Rubio is full of dookie. He want to be for and against it at the same time. He lacks right wing purity.
Careful there, Marco. The Tbaggers LOVE this law and they are your biggest supporters in Florida.
Purified by the ignorance of SC poliitcians. Hate, fear, lies, sheets. hoods, burning crosses ...............................
If you want to travel to a any country , seek employment or decide to live there, proper documentation is required and most people abide by that rule .
It is absolutely sickening that we allow political correctness and the threat of being called racist to interfere with Government decision making and it's enforcement of the law.
You just make sure you have your documentation when you come to Arizona Mr. Rubio.
Uh-oh. Marco "Rubio!" is likely to find himself in election trouble now. He's gonna have some 'splaining to do to the Florida racists.
Good for them for finally doing something...maybe the attention this is getting nationwide will be enough to bring it to the federal level for some kind of action. I'm completely OK with profiling if it stops these criminals from coming into this country, committing crimes, then fleeing back across the border. Even if they don't go back they have no traceable documentation. It's complete injustice.
Good on you Arizona. I'd be fed up too.
I hope voters in Florida remember the ill treatment and outright racism from the gop towards Justice Sotomayor at her confirmation hearing instead of listening to nice sounding words
Thank you Marco Rubio! "Police state" is right!
"Hmmmm, you look very suspicious, show me your papers, please! Sieg heil!"
Listen to this hypocrite, teabaggingscum....you'll say anything to get to Washington won't ya!! Planning to visit Arizona soon...make sure you walk with your papers Mr. Brown skin man....just remember your Republican compatriot signed this un-american bill into law!!