TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Immigration bill gets Rubio's OK

AP
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks with The Associated Press in his Capitol Hill office on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Washington. Rubio, once a Tea Party darling, has been denounced by members of the party for his support of an immigration overhaul.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Reuters
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 8:18 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, shifting his tone on the immigration bill he helped to write, said on Tuesday he is now fully satisfied that the measure will do what it takes to secure the southern border with Mexico.

Rubio, a potential presidential contender and the most high-profile Republican backer of immigration reform, had irked supporters of the Senate immigration bill with public comments in which he consistently said the legislation was not tough enough on border enforcement.

The Florida lawmaker was part of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators that in April announced the bill that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants while beefing up border security and starting guest worker programs for high- and low-skilled workers.

The Senate measure appears headed for passage this week, with supporters expecting a strong showing of about 70 votes in favor of it. An amendment on border security crafted by a small group of Republicans has helped to persuade several in the party to give their backing to the bill.

At a cost of $46 billion, the amendment would double the number of agents on the southern border to about 40,000 and provide more high-tech surveillance equipment.

“This amendment basically now puts into place virtually everything people have been asking me to do about immigration enforcement since I began talking about this issue,” Rubio told a convention of the American Society of News Editors. “I think we've run out of things we can to do to support — to improve the border.”

In a series of television and radio interviews during the past two months, Rubio had said he did not think the bill could get a sufficient number of Republican votes needed for passage without stronger border language and that his own vote depended on such changes.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio, said that while the senator is now satisfied with the border language in the bill, he still wants votes on some other changes, including an amendment under discussion that would further bolster the system employers use to verify workers' legal status.

Passage of the immigration bill in the Democrat-led Senate would send the measure to the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, where it faces a much tougher sell. Many conservatives have denounced the plans to give legal status to the undocumented as “amnesty.”

Asked about House Speaker John Boehner's strategy for handling the immigration issue in that chamber, Rubio said it is up to House lawmakers to determine the course they want to take.

But he added: “I think we have a good piece of legislation they should take a look at. There are a lot of good ideas that they should adopt.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
  2. Christian college in Illinois to stop providing health care over Obamacare
  3. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  4. OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims
  5. Protesters ousted in bid to block Shell icebreaker on Portland river
  6. Highway bill on Obama’s desk extends funding 3 months
  7. Piece of plant found on island on way to France for analysis
  8. Defense chief approves arming more troops at soft sites
  9. Ex-Cincy cop pleads not guilty, posts bond
  10. Minn. dentist laying low in slaying of lion
  11. Only 1 co-op health program, of 23, made money in 2014, report says