Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan
June 18th, 2012
08:48 PM ET
11 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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Marco Rubio
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    caught flat footed and now has no plan B

    June 19, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  2. keith

    Because even if republicans agreed with what Obama proposed, they couldn't possibly say that they did.

    June 19, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  3. TomInRochNY

    “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.”

    Translation: If Obama is for it, the GOP is against it.

    June 19, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  4. Patrick Lewis

    Yes, good policy IS good politics. Rubio, your plan was going NOWHERE and Obama thought it was a good idea and did it by fiat. This is not a "Grenade" this is the government actually acting instead of BS ing around and trying to score political points. I'm so sorry you don't have that kind of power or conviction in your position, but thankfully for all the kids out there facing deportation, the President has more spine than you do.

    June 19, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  5. FactChecker

    Rubio cancelled his announcement because it would support Obama's plan. Politics is more important to Rubio than doing what's right. How depressing.

    June 19, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    What tens of thousands of india guys on h1 b. Visas bringing wives producing kids in USA making born citizens, parents are on j-1 or h-1 visa??? This needs to be stopped. Neverthless kid is born one of the parents must be citizen before conferring citizenship to child. Shame these idiots are playing politics....wake up, America!!!

    June 19, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  7. Frank

    Illegal aliens serving in the military, bringing their weapons training and experience back to their home country. What could possibly go wrong.

    June 19, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  8. Charlie

    As a member of Congress it is Rubios job to submit and get this kind of legislation. The president does not have this authority.

    June 19, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  9. Rickirs

    In other words the President took the initiative and Rubio is left with nothing but failed Republican theology that he can't stomache. Maybe Rubio shold talk to Obama about a cabinet position.

    June 19, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  10. jdalco

    you want support? then ID the illegals ( Obama seems to be able to), arrest and DEPORT THEM! These jobs and positions in our schools should go to folks here legally! My kids need a job. . . why are you giving it to an illegal?

    June 19, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  11. saywho

    So the President 'destroyed' Rubio's grandstand on the floor of Congress.

    June 19, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  12. Jebbb

    Hey Marco, enough talk. Do something positive, like Barack Obama has done, or stand down. The politics are tough because teabaggers (look in the mirror) have made it so. Obama has said that good policy is good politics. So, try that. What would be a good policy on the immigrant children? On all immigration? Espouse that, and stop trying to figure what the teabaggers will like. They are bitter and racist and spoiled and like nothing positive. Get beyond them. Espouse integrity and humanity. You may find it the best thing you ever did.

    June 19, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  13. Joshua Ludd

    Well, if he holds true to form with Republicans under Obama "re-evaluating plans" will mean opposing ideas that originated with Republicans as soon as Obama backs them and then calling him a socialst, fascist, marxist, communist, nazi, etc... for supporting ideas they had originally come up with in the first place.

    June 19, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  14. Terence

    Proves that Republicans will never support any Obama positions.

    June 19, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  15. Delilah

    FLIP-FLOP Romney – totally changed positions he had during primary! No surprise here.

    June 19, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  16. jbart

    So if the President does it, it's for political reasons, but if Rubio does it, it's out of the goodness of his heart?

    June 19, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  17. Independent from NH

    Why? Is it not fair when the two parties actually agree on something? Classic example of republican hypocrisy. Obama took my momentum. I'm going to cry and take my toys away now.

    June 19, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  18. wonder1

    obama and the other people in wash. are rich and don't have a clue of what its like to live around a lot of illegals.i wish they could see what its like for the american people who don't have a lot of money, and i bet you if they did they would change there minds.

    June 19, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  19. Dan in Tampa

    Poor little Repubtards want to be an obstructionist Do-Nothing Party?
    Well loser Repubtards, then the President of The United States has the authority to make the decisions himself.
    By being a Do-Nothing Party, you Repubtards keep handing our President victory after victory. Thanks for making the elections easier...

    June 19, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  20. Bev

    of course it was political obama is desprite millions of americans out of work & now there are 800,000 more to compete with obama only cares about keeping his job he does not care for the middle classs actually because of him there's not much middle class left

    June 19, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  21. petena

    Hispanic of convenience. You are not for us. Imposter.

    June 19, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
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