Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan
June 18th, 2012
08:48 PM ET
3 years ago

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

(CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is standing down for now on proposing his much-anticipated immigration plan, his office confirmed on Monday.

The decision came just days after President Barack Obama announced similar policies to that of Rubio's proposal, which would grant legal status for minors brought here illegally, providing they pursue higher education opportunities or serve in the military.

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“We're re-evaluating our plans,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. “The president's announcement took away our momentum and made the politics a lot tougher.”

The Obama administration's directive will specifically allow people younger than 30 who came to the United States before age 16, pose no criminal or security threat and were successful students or served in the military to apply for a two-year deferral from deportation.

The decision, which came through the Department of Homeland Security, attempts to enact provisions from the DREAM Act, Democratic-backed legislation that has failed to garner enough support in Congress, despite several attempts.

Rubio had yet to officially bring his proposal, often described as the Republican version of the DREAM Act, before the Senate, but he has been drumming up support for the measure in recent months at public appearances.

While he had planned to introduce the bill this summer, citing concerns about certain students facing deportation ahead of the new school year, Rubio's office said Monday the president's plan erases that sense of urgency.

Conant said politically different sides had been "working behind scenes for our approach and there was an openness to it and the president has thrown a grenade into discussions."

Rubio feels there is "a hardening of positions" and his staff doubts Congress could reach a consensus on the plan before November. In an interview Monday night, Rubio accused the president of playing pure politics with the timing of his announcement during an election year.

"I don't think there's anyone watching this that doubts that it was for political reasons," Rubio said on Fox News.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose rumored to potentially tap Rubio as his running mate, said on Friday he would support Rubio's plan.

"I would like to seek legislation that deals with this issue and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he looked at, considered this issue, he said that this is an important matter that we have to find a long-tem solution," Romney said.

– CNN's Jessica Yellin, Jim Acosta and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Also see:

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Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Marco Rubio
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. CaliforniaBC

    Oh wow! How much more blatant can you be. Here we have a Republican in agreement with the Democratic President on an issue BUT he drops his legislation idea JUST because it is too similar to Obama's policy. Are you KIDDING ME??

    This couldn't show the Republican mentality of "be against Obama on everything even if it's our idea" any more clearly.

    June 18, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Squigman

    They (the republicans), don't want to talk about the issue, and they're hoping many will just forget about it too. It's called bait and switch, a tactic used by many practicing confidence men/women, who's desire is to bilk the public. Go ahead, fall for it. See what you feel like after making the mistake of a lifetime.

    June 18, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. n

    Way to go Mr. President!

    June 18, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  4. Leroy

    Rubio wimped out....

    June 18, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Pedro

    I am sure romey and rubio will get the Latinos votes If they get a bill NOW to fix the broke immigration and end up with the green card backlog. Now it is up to Republican to get the bill now on the senate floor.

    June 18, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  6. Stu Nahan

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    June 18, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Dick Hertz

    Good. Maybe he'll learn nobody cares what an anchor baby says.

    June 18, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. BobH

    So Sen. Rubio proposes what he thinks is a good idea, and now that the President agrees with him, he shelves it? Why not stand up for an idea that he himself championed, an idea that he thinks would be good for the country, and bring it to a vote?

    Oh, right, then he'd have to utter the words "On this issue, I agree with the President." And that must never happen, no matter how many people it hurts.

    June 18, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Rossbach

    Could it be that the GOP leadership has pressured Rubio into backing-off from any amnesty proposals in response to a firestorm of protest from the rank-and-file? This would allow Romney to save face after the remarks he made in support of Rubio's proposal. Unless Romney is completely out of touch with reality, he must realize that the few "Hispanic" votes he might gain by appearing to support any amnesty proposal would be more than offset by loss of his core support. That is what happened to John McCain in 2008, and Romney would do well to remember that.

    June 18, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. BRUCE

    obama got the jump on em.

    June 18, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Chris A

    Let me sum up what happened. The President endorsed a GOP idea and now even the GOP doesn't want it anymore. Period. It's why Rubio walked away. He can't support anything Obama supports. That's pretty much it.

    June 18, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. billmosby

    Anything that undermines necessary laws should be shelved permanently. Anything that risks turning this country into a place anything like those countries that Latinos are fleeing should be resisted. Amnesty, by setting up the next round of incentives for another quantum leap in illegal immigration, would do just that. 1986- 3 million. Now- 12 to 20 million (4 to 7 times as many). 25 years from now- 48 to 140 million, another factor of 4 to 7. At that point, the next newcomers would decide to press on to greener pastures in Canada, lol.

    June 18, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. ohreally

    So Romney, who can't seem to come up with anything specific on anything, nor will he answer any questions on anything specific, supports Rubio's plan on immigration that doesn't really exist. That's par for his campaign.

    June 18, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. pkfops

    In other words he never had a plan.

    June 18, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Chipster

    So many people don't seem to understand that these are not people who decide to enter the U.S. illegally. They were brough here by their parents. Most of them don't even speak the language of their home countries. One such child was from Canada and his parents died here. He was raised by the only relative he has. At one point, the INS planned to deport him at age 12 or 13 to Canada. What is a child like that going to do in a country he doesn't know and with no family to care for him? It's cruel, mean, inhumane, and unthinkable to treat these children this way. Some of them become adults and serve in our military, defending the only country they know and love! How can we stop this selfish and senseless hatred of the most vulnerable among us? What has happened to our decency and compassion?

    June 18, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. MikeyZ

    Okay, Rubio is sufficiently neutered to the point that Romney won't seek him out as a running mate. Moving on...

    June 18, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. julien vergara

    Obama is quick taking or stealhg other idea. He can sell american country as long as he will win the election.

    June 18, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. sharoom

    Senator Rubio, just present it because you think it's the right thing to do.

    June 18, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. d

    Rubio had no plan...not anything that would benifit anyone! i have one question for both sides...you keep saying those kids that go to college or are in the military...what about the rest? what the heck are you saying about the rest of these kids? they are not worthy??? sad to me that you all have to put quilifers on human beings...this is pathetic! this is not the childs fault no matter if they want to be a cashier or a mechanic or a doctor or a soldier! shame on both sides for this nonsense!

    June 18, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. Galactus99999

    Smart move by Rubio. Obama has milked the illegal immigrant thing for all the votes he can. It makes more sense for the GOP to go after Obama on the economy. The economy appears to be softening and we may well be looking at a double dip. What is hard to believe is how little attention the main stream media is paying to the problems people are having finding jobs.

    June 18, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. blessedgeek

    The reason he dropped it is because it was the same as Obama's bombshell. Obama had a spy in the Republican camp. May be a double agent. Ooo ,,, this is going to be watergate proportion for obama.

    June 18, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. SP in CA

    “We're re-evaluating our plans,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. “The president's announcement took away our momentum and made the politics a lot tougher.”

    Really...it made the politics tougher? You're either doing what you think is right or you aren't. It doesn't have to come down to an attempt to dominate the 24 hour news cycle. Your proposal doesn't have to automatically be in opposition to Obama's. Heaven forbid republicans and democrats actually agree on a point or two.

    June 18, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. CAWinMD

    Yeah, typical Republican. Love an idea, then when a Democrat suggests it, turn around and hate it. Maybe the best way to go forward is to just shut up, so that way when Obama suggests something that will help, you don't embarrass yourself by being for it before you were against it.

    June 18, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  24. aaron

    So, Repubs had the same plan as Obama, but attacked it when he presented it? These guys have way too much time on their hands. You'd think that the oil companies had laid some of them off.

    June 18, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He's being vetted by Romney and wants the VP slot. Romney doesn't approve. Because of that, Rubio is keeping this off the table until Romney makes his mind up.

    June 18, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
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