Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan
June 18th, 2012
08:48 PM ET
2 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. maf

    Rubio has to re-vamp his version because the President has taken the best part of this program and offered it up to the nation!! Just like the Romney version of health care, the President is using good portions of what has worked (and was supported by Republicans) and made it better for all. The GOP can't stand it and now oppose the parts of programs they once supported. Just makes this version of the Republican party look foolish and the President has certainly out maneuvered them!!

    June 18, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. julien vergara

    Obama steal ideas so to win election. Might sold the country just to win election

    June 18, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  3. DougJ

    So Rubio is working on immigration reform that copies the Dream Act which Repubs rejected last year? And he is upset that Obama essentially enacted the same policy? How to Repub voters let their party leaders get away with this? Like everything else the GOP does these days, their main goal is to deny Obama any legislative victory – even if they agree with the legislation. What a sad party the GOP has become.

    June 18, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Harold

    I always love the line "playing politics" as if it is a surprise.. thats like going to a Yankee game and being surprised you are sitting and watching baseball...

    June 18, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Venkman

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

    Yeah, just like I don't think there is anyone that doubts Rubio's plan to introduce his proposed legislation just months before the election is politically motivated. Pot, meet Kettle.

    June 18, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Paul Williamson

    Obama 5, Rubio & Romney 0

    June 18, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. mariosphere

    Hahahahah, a hardening of positions, coming from a Tea Party favorite. That's rich...and hypocritical.

    June 18, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  8. jean

    He was for it, before he was against it. Sounds like the perfect running mate for Romney.

    June 18, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. Karen

    Why on earth is this man news? He has done nothing.

    June 18, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    so if Obama is doing basically what is in Rubio's plan, why won't rubio support it? Hypocrite!

    June 18, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. John MacDaniel, Huntsville AL

    And the repubs are upset because the dreaded 'obama' did what they could not (or would not) do as a step forward in doing a GREAT piece of legislation that brings all of us closer to being on the same page with respect to our civil relationship with each other thought ONE application of citizenship reforms.

    June 18, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  12. Investment Advisor

    Obama got wind of Rubios plan and shortstoppd him. I think whether you are Rep or Dem, this plan has merit. But, Obama went about it illegally, because he is desperate. Just last year he was videoed saying he does not have the power to make immigration law on his own and must use the Congress to enact proper legislation that is binding. Hmmmm...I wonder what has changhed from 2011 to 2012?? The guy is a hack and all you Dems will back this move because even though it is illegal, it helps your candidate.

    June 18, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. lloyd roberts

    "The president took our momentum away and made the politics a lot tougher" Is that the way you think, that this is a sport. It's not the issue, it's who's got the momentum. You sound like the child you are Rubio and I suggest you take an American history and civics course to understand how the politics in this country really work. This is not about getting through the ropes at a South Beach night club, that's not what being an American is about. i can see how poorly you were trained about this great country.

    June 18, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. Gwen Corbitt

    Rubio is another Palin. Put there for votes, not for brains. His immigration plan was written by Obama and he tried to steal it and that back fired !!!!!

    June 18, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. J Roby

    "Rubio accused the president of playing pure politics with the timing of his announcement during an election year"

    and the only place that statement could be aired without a challenge was Faux News. Gee whiz Sen. Rubio, Your notion of an immigration bill have already failed in the House as Dem bills 3 times. What makes you think you'll have any better luck? Oh yeah, Republican tea bagger House of Reps and President Obama is black.

    June 18, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. Stephen

    obama put out rubio's ideas before he could so rubio can't say what he was going to because then he would be agreeing with the president which is republican blasphemy.

    June 18, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. amobositsol

    lol...leave it to the dems to fail at politics again....just when they were going to get bipartisan support, they put thier crank in their mouth and attempt to hijack a good idea....thus whenever Obama's name gets attached 51% of America gives it the finger

    June 18, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. ttcaros

    Of course, he doesn't want to announce to the latino voters that he'd like to deport them before an election.

    June 18, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. OBOZO

    What's a stealth???? It should not grant amnesty for any reasons for the one broke the laws to begin with.

    June 18, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  20. darkushost

    Because at the end of the day it really isn't about solutions, it's about beating Obama.

    June 18, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  21. 2020

    Well, the big boys don't like Rubio immigration plan, and Romney cannot serve three masters on the subject. Rubio will never win GOP

    June 18, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  22. Ron Edde

    NO AMNESTY. What part of that are you people not understanding? Allowing illegals to stay in the country provided they pursue higher education, at the expense (or at least subsidization) of and by the American taxpayer is UNACCEPTABLE. Get a clue.

    June 18, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. enuff

    Interesting turn of events. At least Rubio is honest about his thoughts.

    June 19, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  24. Manuel J.

    You know what's really ironic about this? The only time anything has been done, or has been close to being done, it's been by a Republican.

    Unfortunately, the pince Democrats and their chief mentiroso put enough spin to convince uneducated Latino's they are "helping" them. People, the Dem's are only promising Latino's their version of the Latino "cotton field". They don't want you to succeed, they only want your vote. When they get it, they spit in your face like Obama has!!

    June 19, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  25. cedaly1968

    “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.”

    While Sen. Rubio can accuse President Obama of playing politics, so is Senator Rubio. If you have a better idea, bring it forward. Republicans sat on the DREAM Act for 2 years... what took so long to bring a new proposal forward? Politics cut both ways.

    June 19, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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