April 27th, 2010
01:19 PM ET
12 years ago

Rubio criticizes controversial Arizona immigration law

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/27/art.rubio1.gi.jpg caption="Marco Rubio spke out on Tuesday about a new immigration law in the state of Arizona."]Miami, Florida (CNN) – Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, an influential Hispanic voice in the Republican Party, warned Tuesday that Arizona's tough new immigration law could have "unintended consequences," but said the legislation is the product of a "law enforcement crisis" going on in the state.

The law, enacted last week by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, requires police to question people suspected of being in the country illegally. Critics of the law argue that it will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics and civil rights violations.

Rubio discussed the bill for the first time after a campaign event in West Miami, where he signed official papers to run as a Republican.

"That's not really something Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state," Rubio said of the Arizona bill. "But I don't want to underestimate the level of frustration from a law enforcement aspect that exists in Arizona. You have serious violence crossing the border, and they're fed up. Particularly with federal inaction."

He did not say outright whether he opposes or supports the bill.

But Rubio said that "over time people will grow uncomfortable" with the idea of police officers stopping an individual based simply on a suspicion that he or she is in the country illegally. The Arizona measure, he said, is one reason he believes immigration "needs to be a federal issue and not a state one."

"My hope that this will be a wake up call for the federal government to take the illegal immigration problem in America seriously," he said, noting that border security and modernization of the visa system should be the two main priorities of immigration reform.

As for the ongoing saga surrounding the future of his Republican primary rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio maintained that he is focused on his own campaign and would not comment on mounting speculation that Crist may continue his Senate bid as an independent.

Rubio, an outspoken conservative on fiscal matters, pledged not to moderate his message in the general election in an appeal to centrist Florida voters.

"I think my positions are mainstream American positions that talk about limited government, the free enterprise system, how the world is in a better place when America is the strongest country on the world," he said. "Who I am and why I am running is not going to change based on a political calculus. I believe that my message will get me elected to the U.S. Senate."

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • Florida • GOP • Immigration • Marco Rubio
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. DocSteveO

    Oops!! Not very Tea Party-ish, is it Marco?

    April 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Paul from Phoenix

    It's very simple, and both Dems and the GOP are to blame:

    If the federal government had done its job and enforced the immigration laws on the books (many of which are copied verbatem in the new AZ law), then states like AZ wouldn't have to pass this kind of legislation.

    THe federal government did nothing, and now the States are being forced to do their job.

    April 27, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Enough

    What is he criticizing? Arizona trying to enforce the law is a crime! Give me a break, I wish bankrupt California would follow suit. I am sick and tired of my taxes going up to support these law breakers running into our country and getting all the handouts...........at my expense. Since when did the government get into the forced charity business? Take my hard earned tax dollars to support the law breakers who are out there stealing from us.

    What is all this jabber about illegals rights...........what rights, you come here illegally and demand rights............go home and take your expanding families with you.

    April 27, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. patricia

    Will be impossible do not stop someone with the latin looks
    what about if you look like very southamerican they stopo you all the time LOL

    April 27, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Drew

    Uh-ohhhhhh ... now the Tea Party movement will be forced to twist and turn and make itself into a big pretzel trying to explain what you really meant and why it was OK, Rubio.

    April 27, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Capt. Snarky

    Illegal Immigration Solution:

    Step 1) Protect the border
    Step 2) Eliminate Anchor Baby provision
    Step 3) Eiminate Welfare for Illegal Aliens

    Problems solved!

    April 27, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Jim Brodie

    Can't have it both ways, Rubio. Your Hispanic heritage notwithsatnding, this law is a product of, and hugely embraced by YOUR PEOPLE, the GOPers. Own it.

    April 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Ron in California

    Ok..whre have the feds been??? The Country needs help. AZ. may not be the way to go but it promed the pump.

    I see all the protestors in AZ. what they don't get is it is their children who will be sufferring under the weight of the future cost incurred by illegals.

    April 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Gil

    Rubio better not get elected and then be expected to take the Party of No's Loyalty Oath! A party of hypocrites!

    April 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. spiderman

    This is how your party treating your people Mr.Rubio!

    April 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Future expat

    That's a nice, middle-of-the-road answer. I wonder how it will play out in the absolutist, black-and-white world in which most Tea Partiers live.

    April 27, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. larry wi

    The polic ecurrenly stop supicous vehicle operators as it now is, what's the differance here? If the federal govt would have spent less time promoting a ridiculous agenda and taken care of real business AZ woudl not have had to act on their own. "WAKE UP ODUMBO?"

    April 27, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Linda

    Wow! You know that when a Republican has misgivings about the consequences of a law to our American way of life, it's a REALLY lousy law!!!

    April 27, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Larry

    This is another intelligent move by the Republicans.

    The cops are going to be so busy pulling over "hispanic-looking people" it will take the heat off the drug dealers moving the drugs.

    April 27, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. 2012 can't come soon enough

    What's the problem? If you are here legally and have the documentation there is nothing to fear. If you are here illegally you shouldn't be here and you need to go home. We have check points to check for drivers licenses and insurance, I applaud that. Why should I have to carry uninsured motorist to cover damage caused by those who hit me with no license or insurance. where can we go, break the law and demand rights?

    April 27, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Wisconsinite

    Marco, I'm-trying-to-straddle-the-fence-between-the-Hispanics-and-those-crazy-Tea-Partiers, Rubio. Be careful you don't land on the fence and hurt your cahones, Rubio!

    April 27, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. RN

    they are fed up with federal inaction?
    Then why are they upset that democrats want to address immigration in this congress?
    The republicans are trying to stall the financial reform and really bring everything in congress to a halt – but they are fed up that nothing is done. Really?
    Is there someone out there who can explain this one to me?

    April 27, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Red by Choice

    I think we have all seen how well our federal government has dealt with the immigration issue. It is time for states to exercise state's rights and actually enforce the existing laws. I am all for legal immigration. We actually need it as a country. But it is time for the illegals of all colors and creeds to be extricated from the welfare rolls, school rolls, pay rolls and hospital corridors. There is no justification for the status quo to continue. Illegals out now! Thanks Arizona for having the courage to kick the PC habit and to enforce the laws of the land!

    April 27, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. No Problem Here

    Where is all of this outrage when black AMERICANS were/are racially profiled. If you are an illegal immigrant you (should) have no american civil liberties as you are NOT a citizen of this country!

    April 27, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. RH

    I resent ANYONE'S shirking US immigration law to take advantage of the deadlocked, impotent state of the federal government – race has nothing to do with it. If there were thousands of Poles illegally entering the US through Arizona, I'd expect them to be put under a microscope, too.

    If Hispanic CITIZENS would take a stronger stand against their illegal counterparts, there wouldn't be such a problem. But no, all too often it's language and ethnicity first with them.

    I'M SICK OF MIGRANTS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AMERICA!! FOLLOW THE RULES and you'll be welcomed with open arms.

    April 27, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Protect the borders, find out who the illegal aliens are - both necessary to maintain some measure of safety even though we do have home grown terrorists.

    However, this law could have been written in 1930's Germany. According to reports (no, I havent had a chance to double check this bit of information, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's true), one of the people involved in writing it is a white supremacist with neo-nazi connections. Why is this not alarming anyone?

    April 27, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Enter legally or go home

    If a brunette woman is blowing up air planes...........you pay closer attention to every brunette woman boarding a plane. If Mexicans are entering this country illegally, you check id's of those who don't speak english. It's called common sense. Political correctness has to take a back seat to common sense. what is the point of having a border patrol if we are letting everyone come here anyway?

    April 27, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Bertina

    I love this notion that republicans have found an issue that they aren't pro states rights.

    April 27, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. DOG1

    Of course, as a republican, he's making noise about this being a federal matter because that means he and his cohorts can insure nothing ever really gets done about it. Like the rest of the republicans he's far more comfortable making sure that as many illegal immigrants remain "illegal" as possible. He too gets his marching orders from big business and they know full well that they can pay illegals insignificant wages and mistreat them as needed to insure corporate profit. Think about that when you're spending those corporate "campaing contributions" Rubio.

    April 27, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. key

    Don't lose your GOP support by standing up against this bias law

    April 27, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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