Rubio Backs Away From Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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quicklist: curated
quote: “At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills."
their_title: Rubio Now Opposes Going to Conference with Senate Immigration Bill
their_copy: “At this point, the most realistic way to make progress on immigration would be through a series of individual bills,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in an email. “Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive.”
theirCTA: Read the full story here.
our_copy: This move represents a sharp turn away from the strategy Rubio embraced on immigration reform.

What’s remarkable is that Rubio took a big political risk this year in helping write a comprehensive reform bill with a bipartisan group of senators. Now he’s essentially saying he does not want that bill — or any comprehensive measure — to become law.

Rubio’s spokesman told Politico in a separate interview that the senator had always preferred a step-by-step approach, saying he backed the comprehensive bill “despite strong opposition within his own party and at a significant and well documented political price."


And it’s true that the Senate’s bill is dead in the House, where Republicans would rather deal with the issue incrementally. But not only does the senator oppose the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, he’s against passing individual bills if they are used as a vessel to get a comprehensive bill to President Obama’s desk.

Rubio could have a tough time explaining to voters why he decided to back away the immigration plan he helped craft, especially if he runs for president in 2016. The Florida senator’s move does not bode well for the future of immigration reform, but it could pose significant challenges for his political future too.

Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.

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