Florida Republican Marco Rubio ‒ who has previously supported a broad overhaul of the immigration system, including a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants ‒ warned President Obama to avoid taking executive action to reduce the rate of deportations on Tuesday.
Rubio has written a letter to Obama declaring that he is “increasingly alarmed” at the notion that the president is contemplating taking unilateral action to protect millions of undocumented Marco Rubio immigrants from being deported and to grant permits that would legally enable them to work in the United States. Rubio warns that executive action would only make the chances of making real immigration reform progress even more unlikely in the future.
White House officials declined to respond to Rubio’s letter, other than to say that the president continues to be committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform and noting Congress’s utter failure to address the issue despite Obama’s repeated pleas for it to do so. Rubio was one of the Gang of Eight that crafted the comprehensive immigration bill that was passed by the Senate in June last year, only for it to fail to be voted on in the House of Representatives.
Rubio says that Republicans are suspicious of Obama and have “a growing distrust of institutions of government”. He added that the president would effectively be “proving them right” by taking executive action and would make the chance of the two parties being able to come to an agreement even more unlikely.