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. David Houseward

    What is the point of borders and immigration laws if the people who break the laws and come here illegally are not activity searched out and sent home?

    To suggest that a State Government that requires persons living in the borders prove their legal right to be there with documents is akin to Nazi Germany is a JOKE! Hitler rounded up people for detention camps and eventual death. This law would have the effect of rounding people up to be sent back to their home country. Big Difference.

    April 27, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. John D

    Guess again Rubio! Once again, the majority wants the illegals out!

    April 27, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. dave

    Uh, Rubio, you're running for an office in the federal government. If you are so principled, it would be prudent for you to come out and take a stand on this. But we all get the political dance you have to do as a Republican, so of course you will make non-binding comments and try to ride the fence on this one. Much smarter politically to seem sympathtic as a Hispanic and candidate, then start marching lockstep with the facist party line once in office.

    April 27, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. cmkc

    CNN – it's YOUR job to clear up the hype and make clear the actual law.. Police are NOT going to be profiling – there STILL as to be probable cause. An police officer cannot simply walk up to an individual who is not committing a crime or traffic violation and ask the person for his or her legal status. "You need a legitimate reason ... speeding, reckless driving. The law is predicated on the protections of the fourth amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures."
    If an individual committing a violation or crime is found out to have an illegal status, the law enforcement officer will contact immigration authorities.

    April 27, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. jon

    He's in for some rough seas for making these remarks. You betcha!

    April 27, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Steve

    This law in sets America back 50 years. It is an outrage to think that my Latino friends, who by the way are American citizens, can be stopped in Arizona simply because of their "looks."

    Welcome to Arizonazism.

    April 27, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Hammerer

    The American people can learn a lesson from the mobs of illegal immigrants taking to the streets and demanding that America change our laws to accommodate their wishes.
    If you want something done the first thing to do is get attention by mob violence, civil disobedience the media calls it, and demanding action.
    No longer does our government recognize peaceful dissent.
    They have proved that mob rule trumps laws.

    April 27, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. william hunt

    I am comfortable with the new law. Hell our gov't has allowed illegals to cross our borders with impunity for too many years. If the folks in Az don't like the new law , move. This country does not belong to latin americans, anchor babies, or their parents. It belongs to legal americans period.

    April 27, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. oklahoma

    After 8 years of bush why are we now so concerned this law is put into place only to bother people in Oklahoma this law is not on the books but we all know we DWI AND DWB Driving while Brown and you will be targeted case closed.

    April 27, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Djinn

    "Even a blind hog roots up an acorn once in a while." Too bad we all know that this is "election" talk.

    April 27, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    First sensible crap I've heard come out of his mouth yet.

    However, I will point out that the "federal inaction" part of it is a wee bit of a scam on the part of the GOP. They want to land the illegal immigration blame squarely on Obama. The governor of AZ even said she just started calling the Obama administration a year and a half ago. Was she calling the Bush administration? Was her predecessor? Moreover, we'd be on the immigration issue by now if the GOP wasn't taking a fat creamy dump on everything and anything whatsoever that the Dems are trying to get done solely for the political leverage they think they can gain from obstructing and spreading misinformation/misrepresentations. McConnell's blatant talking point LIES about the financial reform bill are unforgiveable...as is the current filibuster.

    April 27, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Can't have you cake and eat it too Mr. Teabagger candidate. Don't be against those fools they will purge you as quick as Joseph Stalin.

    April 27, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. kate

    Rubio acts like all Americans dislike this law....Mr. Rubio I do not think that is right. Go live in Arizona and see what it is like. If that law keeps one person whether an illegal or citizens from being kidnapped or murdered by drug cartels, then it is worth it! Arizona has to do something, the illegals are costing this country tremendously. It was NOT written with intentions of profiling. If illegals want to be here, then maybe they will have to live with that, if that is what they believe is being done to them. It is also for their protection as well. If they think this law is unlawful, then why don't they understand they are ILLEGAL and not lawful. They can't have it both ways!

    April 27, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Rickster

    I thought Rubio was going to be a good politician but, as with almost all pols, he shows his ignorance of the bill and unwillingness to do what is necessary to correct one of the biggest problems facing this country...illegal immigration. All the non-whites side with the lawbreakers in this situation and all the white politicians are too cowardly to call it what it is and do what is required. Is there any politician out there who has the guts to do what is necessary to set this country back on the right course?

    April 27, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Michael

    Sorry Marco, I have been in florida to long and I have watched your crooked politics....republican or not, my vote will go to who ever opposes you.

    April 27, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Cathleen Amelio

    Rubio is done! If he is for the police in Arizona not doing there job in enforcing our immigration law he loses!

    April 27, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. MP in VA

    If Pres. Obama's actions are seen as Socialist, then it only follows that Arizona's recent action is a step toward Fascism. Heil Brewer!

    April 27, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. perryrants


    pandering to the hispanic vote?

    April 27, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Happy Trails Rubio

    You just lost my support for your bid for Governor. This is based on your comments and actions towards the Arizona issue. Not so much the fact that you disagree with the immigration law but what you said and the various comments you made about Americans.

    April 27, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Peace

    I understand you Rubio, it touches you (blood is heavier than water). But be careful, the endorsement you received can disappear without any notice!

    April 27, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Ben in Texas

    In other news, Rubio is staying out of Arizona as long as the new law is in effect. That name and face could get him deported there.

    This is a typical right wing "solution" to a problem. Ignore the cause and institute strong-arm tactics. They think that'll fix it, but it's a band-aid approach.

    The root causes are the eternally poor economy in Mexico, the vast demand for Mexican drugs in the U.S. (as the result of prohibition, a concept that tea baggers and libertarians should abhor), and the illegal export of military-style weapons from the U.S. into Mexico. Fix those, and you get rid of the problem. Enact a law like Arizona, and you get trouble.

    April 27, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Dave

    Stop them all you want Mr Officer. 20 million people in the US breaking the Law, You know we are going to pay for their health care, especially when the feds say that you can not ask their immigration status. Not only do you kicked them out, you withhold federal aid from the country of origin for each one your deport. Every latino who is hear legally should also come out against illegal immigration, but theu won't, they do not have enough intestinal fortitude. How many planes can fly at one time, kick them out and man the border!!!

    April 27, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Eileen

    Nobody is talking about a police state or racial profiling. If your illegal than it is time you were afraid of our laws. Having to show id is no big deal, if your a legal citizen. This insanity has gone on for thirty years too long. The left is just exagerating as usual. Hope they notice the violent protestors, but the liberal hypocrits want you to think the tea party is dangerous. I am so glad this country is waking up. First, NJ, MA, and VA. next we will rid ourselves of these traitors in Nov. It's time for fiscal responsibility and closing our open borders is a great start.

    April 27, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Mike

    I think Mark Reubens might do a good job as senator.

    April 27, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    He skirted this issue well , didn't he?
    The Law is ridiculous and illegal.
    He couldn't denounce it and remain true to his conservative stance, but as an Hispanic, he doesn't want to alienate that portion of his base.
    Sounds a lot like Cheney on gay rights- hypocritical.

    April 27, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
1 2 3 4