GOP 2016 candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to escape his disastrous 2013 decision to back the Gang of Eight immigration bill that would have provided amnesty for illegals and boosted the inflow of foreign labor. So his immigration allies have publicly stabbed him in the back, courtesy of Politico.
A leading Democratic legislator who supports amnesty and the arrival of more cheap foreign labor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, didn’t give Rubio any slack.
When asked how Rubio has handled immigration on the campaign trail, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) responded: “Poorly.”
“He should just affirm what he believed in and what he worked with his colleagues on… I was very, very grateful to him and said so publicly on numerous occasions … You know, in these days, you have to have backbone.”
Rubio is now backing a doomed bill that would penalize “sanctuary cities” that bar enforcement of immigration law. The symbolic bill won’t become law because it is not strongly supported by the GOP leadership, and is opposed by Democrats and President Barack Obama.
Back in 2013, however, Rubio eagerly worked with Gutierrez, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Paul Ryan to promote the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill.
That bill would have rolled back border-security rules, killed off employers’ worker-verification program, eased the arrival of foreign refugees, amnestied at least 10 million illegals, and also amped up the inflow of foreign college-grads to compete against American graduates for jobs. Overall, it would have added 33 million immigrants over the next 10 years, cut wages for Americans and potentially boosted the stock-market.
That unpopular, business-backed bill was defeated with the aid of House Speaker John Boehner.
Rubio’s support for the business-backed bill reversed his own 2010 election promise to oppose any amnesty. Since that reversal, Rubio’s support in the GOP’s base has plunged.
On the 2016 campaign trail, Rubio is now trying to get past that political trauma by promoting enforcement bills.
Now his 2013 political friends have also turned their backs.
Frank Sharry, a major advocate for more cheap labor who touted Rubio in 2013, gave Rubio the back of his hand in Politico’s article. On the campaign trail, Rubio “is saying to donors and to Latinos that I’m still for a path to citizenship, I’m still for immigration reform. But I’ve learned the hard way… It’s very clever. It sounds reasonable,” Sharry told Politico.
“But for people who actually know what it takes to pass legislation, especially immigration reform legislation, it’s so hollow. It has all the substance of Cheetos,” he said.
Rubio was also hit by his long-time Hispanic Republican ally, Alfonso Aguilar, the executive director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership.
He’s being very sloppy in the way he’s answering questions. He’s being very vague… That is the kind of sloppiness that I think opens the door for a lot of people, Democrats in a general election, to question if he’s really committed to immigration reform.
Fittingly, the political abandonment was announced via Politico by Seung Min Kim, who was an ardent advocate for the 2013 bill and for Rubio.
Read more here.