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. A Little Common Sense

    So he's doing something that should make Rubio happy, something that is similar to what he wanted to propose & Rubio is complaining, upset and says he's throwing a grenade into his plans. Then you say it's all election politics even though it's in line with a Dream Act democrats have been trying to push through. Who's long standing policies is this in line with, not the Repubs courting you just b/c you can pick up minority votes.

    Go ahead and express your outrage that you don't get to take credit for this and show your true colors and what your real priorities are

    June 19, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  2. tmoore0917

    Rubio seems to be upset that Obama bet him to the punch on this new immigration legislation..He had the same opportunity to make his political move as the President did. Why didn't he...he was not prepared is the reason.

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

    In other words, now that Obama has proposed it, the GOP has to figure out why they hate it.

    June 19, 2012 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  4. Anthony Seta

    Rubio was never serious. The man was simply looking to provide cover for his republican colleagues and candidate Romney. The entire 'Rubio' plan was nothing more than a window dressing facade to achieve nothing of importance.

    If Rubio's republican senate colleagues cared about immigration reform, then the DREAM act would have been supported by a minimum of 5 more GOP senators to reach the 60 vote minimum. That is just the bare bone facts of the matter.

    June 19, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  5. David

    Don't back down, guys! We need immigration reform now more than ever. It's time to fight back against Obama and the liberals, not give in to them!

    June 19, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  6. Justin H

    Really, Obama's plan was all about politics. You don't say. But I suppose the Republican blockade of virtually everything was completely normal and had absolutely nothing to do with politics. Maybe if the Republicans had actually shown some willingness to work with the President, he would not have felt the need to do this on his own.

    June 19, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  7. Iamnotfooled

    Has anyone noticed that Romney has no plans. He is endorsing Ryan's Plan. He is endorsing Rubio's Plan. What is Romneys Plan? How can someone vote for a candidate that won't answer simple questions? It's beyond me.

    June 19, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  8. Gaunt

    Now watch. The Tea bagger Republicans who YESTERDAY supported Rubio's plan will all violently oppose it now that it comes from President Obama. Just like the Republicans supported Obamacare when it was a heritage foundation idea, but opposed the same plan when a democratic president proposed it.

    If the far right didnt have double standards, they would have no standards at all.

    June 19, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  9. Zooni

    Give me a break. The GOP is not going to make any immigration plan, as they have no immigration plan, no jobs plan, no economic plan. The plan is maximize corporate profits end stop.

    June 19, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  10. The-Voices

    I see a lot of people complaining about the President's plan, but it doesn't seem that bad. The people that are giving a two year deferrance are the ones that I'd rather have in the US, and get rid of the troublemakers.

    June 19, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  11. JC in Western U.S.

    So my interpretation of Romney's remark is that he thinks it is important to find a long term solution to the immigration issue.

    wow. what a courageous bold plan.

    June 19, 2012 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  12. Pshizzle

    Rubio's plan was headed for a defeat by his fellow republians such as Grassley. Grassley will block any immigration bill because he is a xenophobe. Rubio should be glad that Obama saved his face.

    June 19, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  13. Carl

    The GOP is outflanked again. LOL.

    June 19, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  14. krl

    I will make my comments short the republicans can say what ever they want about the president but when it comes time for voting barack will be our president again

    June 19, 2012 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  15. Hindsight 20/20

    In other words, Pres Obama presented very similar ideas to ours. Since Obama adopted them we Republicants no longer support it.

    June 19, 2012 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  16. joe

    Didn't want to look like a sell out huh Rubio?

    June 19, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  17. mark

    "I don't think there's anyone watching this that doubts that it was for political reasons"...perhaps he is right – but his reasons are no less political.

    June 19, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Master stroke by our great,intelligent President Obama to shut down the unhinged GOBP posers. Add immigration to the hundreds of American issues waiting for Mitt McCain to get back to us later with a plan. Rove and the Koch boys are working on his script.

    June 19, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  19. Zulu1

    Well as to be expected Rubio shelves his non existent plan The Republicans had no plans to introduce this bill much less pass it.

    June 19, 2012 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  20. don

    Add Marco on to the list that is giving up a core principle to see that Romney wins.

    June 19, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  21. jnpa

    Referring to President Obama's new immigration policy Rubio said "I don't think there's anyone watching this that doubts that it was for political reasons."

    Come on Rubio, your plan isn't for political reasons? Everything every politician does is for political reasons, especially in an election year.

    June 19, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  22. JustSaying2U

    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.

    Of course, now that the President makes a similar proposal, it's now a bad idea. These Republicans are just ridiculous!!!

    June 19, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  23. GOPChicken

    What a coward, he obviously doesn't want to be seen as someone with similar views to Obama.

    June 19, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  24. dreucalypt

    Rubio lacked the courage to come down on the same side as the President. He is doing again what the Republicans did about the individual mandate in the health care issue: if the President adopts their position, they suddenly oppose it.

    June 19, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  25. Terry

    Rubio needs all Hispanics and Latinos to understand that he is trying to make his way in the White Man's World. So, Latinos and Hispanics will need to take their place at the back of the bus, with Blacks and other minorities. Only in America, can a Cuban from South Florida, lie to his own people and try to blame it on the Black Guy in the White House.

    June 19, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
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