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. lojay

    rubio is thief and a liar....why was he even allowed to run for the office he now holds illegally?

    June 19, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  2. barnyard

    haha, they had the same idea, the president just beat them to the punch

    June 19, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  3. Randy Johnson

    Oh – did I miss something?? The Republicans were actually 'discussing' something with Obama? How convenient – now they don't have to anymore. Just a minute while I bang my head against the wall to see if I feel better.

    June 19, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  4. FDGOP

    Bwhahahaha, Rubio is such a rookie! why can't he just agree with Obama and keep it at that! "Playing politics" is such a stupid term and should be left to describe high school student govt. This is real life politics!!!!

    June 19, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  5. Jed

    Rubio who?

    June 19, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  6. Randy Johnson

    Umm – did the republican party have and immigration plan? Actually they did – and it wasn't much different from Obama's – thats the whole problem here folks.

    June 19, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. snebmiester

    Romney said that he was opposed to the DREAM ACT, now that the plan is shelved, he says that he would have supported it, very convenient. If Rubio's plan is so much better than Obama's, why ditch the plan now. Is it because they waited to long to do anything, and got upstaged by Obama, who would now get even more credit if Rubio brought out the plan, because it would show both sides working together. I do not think that we as a people could survive the shock of seeing Congress work together or get anything done. After a decade of do nothing and refuse to work together.

    June 19, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  8. James A.

    Can a lawmaker stealing another lawmaker’s ideas, and claiming they are their own original ideas, be considered plagiarism? If so, maybe Rubio can sue Obama for the rights to the idea! :)

    June 19, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  9. bigpicture1

    "I don't think there's anyone WATCHING THIS.....that doubts that it was for political reasons,"
    Rubio said on FOX NEWS. Well said Rubio, there are moments when some Republicans accidently speak the truth.
    Fans of Faux News would spew hatred if Obama said he petted his dog every day...and find ways to ruin the reputation of any dog willing to be petted by THE PRESIDENT. If he said he loved eggs for breakfast, tea party
    members would organize a boycott of Waffle House and IHOP...Why can't these people be honest ? Because their lack
    of compassion for fellow human beings would be unveiled. It would expose the hypocritical use of the Bible for political gain. The use of the term 'shared values' would be exposed...to reveal that what is shared, is the desire to keep a certain segment of society forever on the margins – and assure another segment prospers.

    Those who question the President's religious beliefs...need to re-examine their own.
    Get verification from your Creator that YOU have been chosen and blessed by Him – with an earthly ability to judge all others – in his inability to do so on his own.

    June 19, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  10. Joe Clark

    I have a rich aunt who was screaming about Obama "leaving the gate wide open for Mexicans to take over this country." She has a maid and and a gardener. Yeah, you guessed it. They"re both illegal Mexicans.

    June 19, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  11. Adam Wilder

    Rubio says he's now scrapping his similar DREAM-lite plan because the President proposed his. And he's calling the President's move political? So, he was planning to do this even later into the race as an October surprise. What the h*ll do you call his move if not Political!! The President just wiped the floor with the GOP.

    June 19, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  12. scallyway151

    Political agenda only. Elections are coming!
    Illegal is Illegal…end of discussion…
    enforce the federal immigration laws that are currently on the books and STOP the destruction of the US!

    June 19, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  13. L Mak

    Rubio is accusing the president of playing pure politics. I wonder what his move to shelve his plan is about. Why should it matter anyways as long as the policies benefit the people of the Unites States? Whether they are born here or not if they are paying taxes all Americans benefit. Let's cut politicians' pay, tax corporations just enough so that they can fly first class instead of on private jets, tax companies that choose to use machines to do jobs (the real thing taking American jobs away), have immigrants pay tax the way Americans pay tax and cut out all the stupid finger pointing. Let's give jobs back to Americans and our own cheap labor rather than outsourcing to other countries. Keep money in this country.

    June 19, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  14. JLS1950

    Obama's immigration order may well be his version of the Roosevelt "Destroyer Deal" or "Lend-Lease Plan" – a plan so morally correct as to be unassailable without making oneself appear petty and perverse. Of course, that never stopped the Republicans before: some of them were still stonewalling on WW-II even AFTER Pearl Harbor!

    Even as they were during the 1930's, Republicans have again become the party of foot-draggers and obstructionists. And when we have foolishly given them power, they have simply repeated the arrogance of Herbert Hoover in 1929 – 1933. The GOP was once a party of some good – championing abolition in the late 1850's and the national park system around the turn of the 20th century. But something went very wrong with the GOP after about WW-I, and they have never really been more than a smoky club for rich and greedy old men ever since. All their talk of "family values" and "traditions" is merely a show to try to gain the support of evangelical Christians – but true Christians will tend to see through all this with Romney. It was all a show without substance or truth.

    June 19, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  15. Jim

    Let's see how fast Rubio can learn to hate the new policy, now that it's not his baby anymore.

    June 19, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  16. Lee

    This is hilarious! If Rubio (who LIED about his own parents immigration) and the republicans had a CLUE, they could put a plan regardless of Obama.

    This isn't looking for a solution; it's just partisan posturing! What else in new???

    June 19, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  17. Randy Johnson

    I know the answer – you are covering the Roger Clemens case – much more important than immigration

    June 19, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  18. Poor Rubio

    Looks like the President came out with a better plan than he, deflating his sails leaving him unable to take credit. So now, instead of congratulating President Obama, he chooses to accuse him of doing it purely for political gain. Mr. Rubio, who is really playing politics here?

    June 19, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  19. RAJ

    I have an engineering degree from US University. In 2008 , companies discreminated us , H1b holders, and refused to give us jobs. Now there are hundreds of people like me who are forced to work low tech jobs illegally.q

    June 19, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  20. garrado

    I guess he got beat to the punch and to keep down the fallout of Americans who should by now realize it's not about what's right but about what will get you elected.

    June 19, 2012 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  21. bp

    It's a shame that partisan politics has reached the point where neither party can say anything good about a proposal made by the other side, and that they are more likely to fight over differences than work together on common ground. Observe how (for instance) Rubio could not give Obama any credit whatsoever, and Obama cannot credit Rubio with being an inspiration for many in the Hispanic community.

    June 19, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  22. ArmyCSM

    You can't shelve what you never had.

    June 19, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  23. DanRyanMan

    800,000 illegal aliens.

    The standard required is so low: high school or join the army.

    We should reduce the size of the army, not increase it.

    It is also unfair for those who came here illegally on student visas, and now in Master or PhD programs. Most of them qualified for the plan (came here before 15, and stay more than 5 years), except they are not illegal. They are now in some of the best graduate schools in our country. Not in high school or being a soldier boy.

    June 19, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  24. Pk duster

    Nice move prez obama we know you do care about the mexican people and all the people of the us romney does not care who he deports he hates any one who is poor

    June 19, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  25. Erick_z

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

    What happened to the secure the border FIRST act?? Mr. Romney would be well advised to consider that he may not yet have the trust of many conservatives who may decide not to show up at the general election.

    June 19, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
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