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. marginwalker

    The President did a great thing and showed his leadership by action with this new immigration plan while the Do-Nothing Congress sat on their thumbs...

    June 19, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  2. rokkitman

    Looks like Big Time Politics is a little over Sarah-Palin-of-the-South's head. He has a pretty face, though.

    June 19, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  3. Se777en

    LOL. The GOP's plan: Oppose everything Obama does, even if it agrees with their own values.

    June 19, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  4. Dallas Gard

    Earth to Rubio, it was the right thing to do. Sorry your thin skin got scraped Rubio. Plus your bitterness is showing with all of the sour grapes flowing from your mouth. Suck it up. You simply got outmaneuvered and are now being a cry baby about it.

    June 19, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. tffl

    In other words, because the President issued a directive that is effectively the same as the proposal that Rubio was going to make, Rubio can't support it and condemns it as purely a political stunt. But if Obama hadn't done this, Rubio would have proposed and pushed it, and then it would have been purely done for principle, not politics. And Rubio wonders why many people consider him an unprincipled political hack.

    June 19, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  6. markr

    I don't get it. Pres. Obama comes out with a plan just like the Rubio plan, and it is tossing a grenade into the discussion? Not much of a discussion if both sides have the same idea, but one side won't admit it!? Pure politics, it certainly is.

    June 19, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  7. luke,az

    President Obama knows how to play chess.

    June 19, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  8. wes

    Obama's is a 2 year plan. Rubio's was to be permanent. There is an election coming up. I think it's obvious which one cares about Latinos and which one is playing politics. Hint: one of them is actually a Latino himself.

    June 19, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. Barry Shanley

    "The president's announcement took away our momentum and made the politics a lot tougher." In other words, Republicans can't possibly support something once Obama says he's for it. It wasn't going to pass the House this year anyway, so at some point Obama had to do what he did to take away some of the worst fears from the ongoing deportations.

    June 19, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  10. Bigs

    The United States is full! No Vacancy! We can't even take care of our own citizens. Why would it be a good idea to allow more people to come here and compete with the unemployed for the few available jobs?

    June 19, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  11. Cortanis

    Seems like they both know and want to get this issue delt with... axe the politics and get it done already. If they did that, at least they could claim that they actually got something done.

    June 19, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  12. twitter.com/whybs

    Obama stole the GOP's thunder! :)

    June 19, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  13. The Left Wing

    Rubio and Romney are political cowards!
    Romney took a severely conservative position on immigration in the primary. Remember how he attacked Rick Perry. Remember how he extolled the virtues of the Arizona law. Of course, now he realizes that to be elected he will need at least a third of the Latino vote. He has a problem; he has to appeal to two groups at once, the base and Latinos. Since he has a strong reputation as a flip-flopper and since a presidential race is so high profile, he would have a hard time using his normal trick of saying one thing to one group and another thing to the other group. So, he has a new strategy, take no position. Except for his unswerving support of funneling more and more money to the rich, Romney has no core. Neither conservatives or Latinos should trust him.
    Rubio might actually have an interest in immigration issues. However, he is afraid to standup for what he believes if it jeopardizes his chance at the VP spot.
    These two think that because Obama has had the courage to take action on a position he has long supported and fought for, that they have found an excuse to hid from the issue. Support Obama a politician with some guts, not the cringing ones, Romney and Rubio.

    June 19, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  14. whybs on twitter

    Obama stole the GOP's thunder! :))

    June 19, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. JimS.

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

    Oh, waaaahhh....cry me a river. W had 8 years to do something, anything, on this, but there was no political stomach amongst Republicans to support any of it. Now suddenly there is? Now you're complaining Obama's playing politics with it? Well, you handed the issue to him, didn't you?

    June 19, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  16. Ramrod

    Dog eats dog

    June 19, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  17. nolimits3333

    Obama trumps Rubio.

    June 19, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  18. J

    Obama or Romney?

    Satan or Lucifer?

    lol, wake me up in December you sheep.

    June 19, 2012 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  19. Mike

    If Obama proposed a pay raise for republicans only they would hate it just for the fact he proposed it. You see the GOP took a pledge,and not to America,and now America must suffer.

    June 19, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  20. Emperor Vadik, CA

    What GOP plan???!!!

    ...are they going to hold off a few days from saying NO again to something Obama wants to do???!!!

    June 19, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  21. slickteigkcmo

    did the Repubs wait too long..... to take a stand , to help people??? Is this what happened? Well they usually either wait too long , to help people or they don't help anyone except their friends, cronies, other like status folks..... so no surprise here. It was too foreign, –helping others, they couldn't fingure out , how to do it, help others....... no surprise, they need to practice caring, sharing, loving others more, it gets easier when you're used to thinking that way :))) God bless American and President Obama. Really , can't we all just get along? rip RK, God bless you too.

    June 19, 2012 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  22. Big C

    “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.”

    In other words, the President thought some of our ideas were good ideas, so now that he likes them we (being the party of whatever-Obama-likes-we-can't) can't POSSIBLY think they are good ideas anymore! How would we explain it to our Teabagging syncophants that we could (god forbid) have common ground and work with the President on an important issue???

    June 19, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  23. Jack

    So, he admits that he was about to propose the same plan that President Obama just outlined, but since they are in different political parties, he now is backing away from his own proposal. What a spineless coward.

    Sorry to say it folks, but if these are the types of people we are putting into public office (and 90% of them are), then the country is doomed.

    June 19, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  24. Consequence

    Republican offers should go to hispanic citizens, not hispanic illegals. Too many Dems and left hispanics are pushing for any program which will sweeten the pot for illegals.

    June 19, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  25. Robyn

    Must have looked too much like Obama's..

    June 19, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
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