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“Marco Rubio’s Mad Rush To The Right Continues”: On The First Day In Office, My True Love Gave To Me…

From the outset of the 2016 campaign, Marco Rubio has tried to adopt a clever straddle on immigration. He has edged towards the hard line stances of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, while carefully keeping the door ajar to re-entering in the general election as the GOP’s Great Hispanic Hope, the candidate whose background and relative moderation on the issue would allow him to solve the GOP’s demographic woes.

Rubio may have just slammed that door shut — or, at least, made it a whole lot harder for himself to pull off this long planned reentry.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rubio clarified that on Day One of his presidency, he will end President Obama’s executive action protecting the DREAMers — people brought here illegally as children — from deportation.

In the interview, Rubio was asked to respond to Ted Cruz’s ongoing insistence that Rubio has not said clearly that he would end Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Day One, something Cruz has repeatedly said he would do. To buttress his point, Cruz has cited an interview Rubio gave to Univision in which he said DACA would have to end at some point, while saying he “wouldn’t undo it immediately,” and keeping his timeline vague. Asked for comment, Rubio replied:

“Right after that interview, Univision reported that I said that DACA has to go away, and that it will. I will on my first day in office get rid of it because it’s unconstitutional. I was against it when the president did it. I remain against it now. It cannot be permanent policy. And I’ve said that repeatedly.”

So there you have it. Under President Rubio, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their temporary reprieve from deportation — and the other benefits of DACA, such as work permits — on the first day of his presidency.

It’s important to understand that this has serious substantive significance. It’s true that Rubio has repeatedly said, albeit vaguely, that under his presidency, DACA would end eventually. (See this Politifact article documenting his repeated statements to this effect.) But saying you’ll end DACA on Day One — as Rubio has now done — is very, very different from this. That’s because DACA is granted in stints of several years; it needs to be perpetually renewed over time by the president. The pledge to end it immediately is a flat out promise not to renew it, and to cancel it on a hard date. The president has the authority to do this, since the original grant was done by executive action. And it would mean instant disruption.

Indeed, Rubio himself believes this to be the case. Here’s what he said in February 2015, according to Politifact:

“What I’m not advocating is that we cancel it right now at this moment, because you already have people that have signed up for it. They’re working, they’re going to school. It would be deeply disruptive. But at some point, it has to come to an end.”

Rubio previously thought doing this would be “deeply disruptive,” but he is now advocating for “canceling it right now at this moment,” or at least, on his first day in office.

To be sure, Rubio can legitimately vow to end Obama’s executive deportation relief while simultaneously supporting the general goal of legislative legalization for undocumented immigrants later (which Rubio has hedged on, too, by saying he’ll only back legalization once some undefined state of border security is attained first). But Rubio himself has been reluctant to say he’d end DACA on Day One, very likely because he understands that this would complicate his hopes of moderating on the issue as the nominee. That’s now changed. And apparently, he shifted precisely because he’s been getting attacked hard from the right over it, and needed a way to defuse these attacks. That immediate set of political imperatives has apparently won out over his longer term ones. And Democrats will surely conclude that Rubio has now saddled himself with a major vulnerability in the coming general election battle for Latino voters.

 

By: Greg Sargent, The Plum Line Blog, The Washington Post, February 19, 2016

February 21, 2016 Posted by | Dreamers, Immigration, Marco Rubio | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Abandon Ship, Abandon Ship!”: Rand Paul Runs From Immigration Talk With Steve King, But Rest Of GOP Is Not So Lucky

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) got into a tense exchange with two DREAMers on Monday, causing Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to physically distance himself from the anti-immigration hardliner. Other Republicans should be thinking about following Paul’s lead.

The confrontation took place at a fundraiser in Okoboji, Iowa, on Monday. Two members of the Dream Action Coalition, Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, approached the lawmakers and introduced themselves as beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Last week, King led the Republican House majority’s push to end the program, which grants temporary deportation relief and work permits for some young immigrants.

After Andiola offered King an opportunity to rip up her DACA card, things quickly got heated. She referenced King’s infamous comment that for every DREAMer who’s a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” and the congressman responded by grabbing her wrist.

“Stop a minute,” King said sharply. “You’re very good at English. You know what I’m saying.”

Where was Senator Paul throughout this testy exchange? As soon as Andiola said the words “I’m actually a DREAMer, myself,” Paul put down his hamburger mid-chew, got up, and bolted from the table.

The rest of the Republican Party should be so lucky.

There’s little mystery behind Paul’s decision to abandon ship. The freshman senator will almost certainly run for president in 2016, framing himself as a new kind of Republican who’s not afraid to sell conservatism to skeptical audiences. Improving the GOP’s relationship with Latinos is central to that message, and appearing on camera with King while he grips a DREAMer’s wrist and badgers her about her English skills would be supremely unhelpful.

But whether they like it or not, Republicans are now tied to King’s hardline positions on immigration. That’s what they get for House leadership’s decision to adopt King’s approach to addressing the border crisis after their first attempt flopped in embarrassing fashion.

The result was an immigration bill that would do little to alleviate the crisis at the border, but would dramatically expedite the deportation process and completely gut the current protections for immigrants who were illegally brought to the country as children. Or as King gleefully put it, “The changes brought into this [bill] are ones I’ve developed and advocated for over the past two years…It’s like I ordered it off the menu.”

Perhaps Republicans should think twice about taking orders from a man who has compared immigrants to dogs, livestock and the Visigoths who sacked Rome, among other outbursts.

It’s not as though Latino voters haven’t noticed the GOP’s decision to abandon its plan to become “inclusive and welcoming” in favor of cementing itself as the party of “Deport ‘em all,” as Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) put it after last week’s vote. According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Latinos view the GOP unfavorably by an overwhelming 65 to 29 percent margin (by contrast, they view Democrats favorably, 61 to 33 percent). While Latino voters’ disgust with Republicans may not make much of a tangible difference in the 2014 midterms, which will be decided in solidly red states, you can bet that the GOP will regret running to the right of Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan once the 2016 presidential election rolls around.

But really, the GOP should consider itself lucky if King only drives its immigration policy. After all, he has other plans that could be even more politically damaging to the party.

 

By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, August 5, 2014

August 7, 2014 Posted by | Dreamers, Rand Paul, Steve King | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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