Marco Rubio Immigration Push Tiptoes Fine Line On Pathway To Citizenship

WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has quickly become the face of bipartisan immigration reform. But more than a dozen interviews in 48 hours with conservative, mainstream and Spanish-language media outlets show Rubio’s challenge: Walk the fine line between pushing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., while appeasing the conservative base that helped elect him two years ago.

On Wednesday, the Florida senator faced a similar task at a Senate Steering Committee luncheon, where he spoke about the immigration reform proposal to some of his own skeptical colleagues. As he emerged from the meeting, Rubio declined to say what was discussed. But he conceded that the pathway to citizenship was a tough sell to opponents, who call it “amnesty.” He said their concerns were rooted in a false premise that the “Gang of Eight” reform framework unveiled on Monday is much like the reform efforts in 2005 and 2007.

“This issue obviously people took positions on a few years ago, and any time they hear discussions on this they compare it to the efforts in ’05 or ’07,” Rubio said. “Number one, they can’t be the same, because these are principles and that was a bill. Number two, the principles in this that we’ve outlined are significantly different in my opinion than the things that were discussed in ’07.”

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Marco Rubio Immigration Push Tiptoes Fine Line On Pathway To Citizenship

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