Speaking with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell today, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed concern over the Obama administration’s handling of immigration reform, claiming that President Obama’s executive action halting deportation of some young illegal immigrants makes it “harder to find a long-term solution to a long-term problem.”
Rubio, in an interview on MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports," acknowledged that Obama's surprise move last week made it harder politically to pass any sort of immigration reform on Capitol Hill. Among the proposals, Rubio had until Monday been promoting a narrower version of the Democrats' DREAM Act that would have provided essentially the same benefits to young illegal immigrants.
That said, before Obama's announcement last Friday, Rubio had not yet drafted any legislation on this issue.
The Florida senator said he would “continue to formulate the idea,” but “the fact that it’s gotten all mixed up in this election year and now being used to attack Republicans has only made it harder.” Rubio's comments were in line with remarks Mitt Romney gave earlier in the day to a leading group of Latino elected officials in Florida, tying the need for immigration reforms to the lagging economy and prospects for future economic growth.
Rubio’s suggestion for finding a way forward? De-politicize the immigration debate, saying: “We have to elevate this issue. We have to say this is a humanitarian issue. We’re going to deal with this without it becoming a political ping-pong back and forth.”