Florida Rep. Marco Rubio has been working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress for months to solve America’s immigration problem. On Friday, the administration of President Barack Obama suddenly announced it would simply stop deporting the children of illegal immigrants “who were brought to the United States” when they were “under the age of sixteen” and are currently below “the age of thirty.”
By comparison, the differences in approach — and the apparent motivation behind their respective efforts — could not be starker.
As a senator — while addressing the hard-line position many of his fellow Republicans assume in their effort to uphold United States immigration laws — Rubio told Susan Page of USA Today Tuesday that they must temper resolve with humanity.
“These are humans that you know. These are stories that you know first-hand. When they hear voices in American politics describe people in those circumstances as a scourge, as something less than human, it bothers people instinctively.”
As a father – while discussing the impetus behind immigration in his new book, “An American Son” – Chris Moody of “The Ticket” quoted Rubio’s confession that he too would risk crossing illegal borders to ensure the well being of his children.
“Many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn’t feed our families. If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn’t give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn’t a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here.”
During a Monday interview with ABC News’ David Muir, Rubio described Obama’s curiously timed decision to bypass Congress and change U.S. immigration policy on his own – despite his statement from a year ago that “that’s not how our system works” – as a “short-term solution” that will prove “problematic” in the long run.
“I’m trying to find a solution here, not a talking point. I’m trying to find an answer here, not a bumper-sticker slogan. The president’s is a two-year solution that expires after two years and does not really solve this in a lasting way. It just gets him through the election. The White House never called us about this. No one reached out to us and told us this was on its way. And, I mean, if they were serious about a real solution to this problem and not politicizing it, then why don’t you reach out to people?”
In a Sunday interview with ABC’s “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, Mitt Romney questioned Obama’s timing as well.
“He should have worked on this years ago. If he felt seriously about this he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate. But he didn’t.”
Despite Obama’s claim that his decision was “the right thing to do for the American people,” The Weekly Standard quoted Florida Rep. Allen West’s conclusion during a Monday radio interview with Laura Ingram that the move was more a self-serving matter of “political expediency.”
The latest Real Clear Politics average has Romney leading Obama in the Sunshine State.
Quinnipiac’s May 15-21 survey gave Obama a slim lead of two percentage points among registered Hispanic voters – 42 percent to 40 percent – over Romney.
However — despite their growing demographic – “Latinos have the lowest voter registration rate of any major ethnic group in the United States,” ABC reported Monday.
According to the 2010 report by the United States Census Bureau – last revised on Jan. 17, 2012 — Hispanics account for 16.3 percent of America’s population. In Florida, it’s 22.5 percent.
The candidate who can inspire them to register and show up at the voting booth in November will stand the better chance of claiming the Sunshine State’s 50 coveted winner-take-all delegates.
Clearly, where Rubio has been trying for months to work with Congress on finding a solution to America’s immigration problem, Obama’s last-minute decision — to steal Rubio’s ideas, bypass Congress and unilaterally desecrate United States immigration laws — was an effort to solve his own reelection problem.