Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Senator Marco Rubio’s Shift on Immigration Reform Alienates Advocates


It was just over a year ago that Senator Marco Rubio was a part of the exclusive “Gang of Eight” bi-partisan group of Senators that authored a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate. Since then, there has been a dramatic shift in the senator’s rhetoric regarding immigration reform, and he is now one of the most vocal opponents of programs like DACA and President Obama’s decision to act on immigration through executive action.

DREAMers and advocates confronted the senator about his inconsistent position during a fundraising event in South Carolina this week. Senator Rubio responded to the group by arguing that, “We are a sovereign country that deserves to have immigration laws.” Rubio continued, “You’re doing harm to your own cause because you don’t have a right to illegally immigrate to the United States.”

Immigration advocates and the media once praised the Tea Party senator for his willingness to bring about sweeping immigration reform. Yet he now appears to be reverting back to a far-right stance on the issue and hinted at the possibility of using ‘funding mechanisms’ to combat President Obama’s executive actions. This shift has cultivated deep distrust among immigration reform groups and advocates that were once hopeful the Republican senator could bridge the gap between immigration advocates and Republicans.

America’s Voice, a pro-immigration advocacy group noted that the senator was once, “determined to find a path to immigration reform that pleased both conservatives and Latinos. Now he’s pandering to the very anti-immigrant forces he once pledged to move his party past.”