Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio needs to endorse a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants when he offers the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, activists said Tuesday.
“Sen. Rubio should make it clear which side he’s on,” Cesar Vargas, executive director of the Dream Action Coalition, said in a conference call with reporters.
Vargas, only 5 years old when he was brought to the United States from Mexico, graduated from New York University law school with honors, but as an undocumented immigrant he cannot be admitted to the New York state bar.
Others in the same situation, known as “DREAMers” because they would benefit from the long-stalled DREAM Act, need to know “who is on their side and who isn’t,” Vargas said, noting that the Republicans lost the November presidential election in part due to their stance on the immigration question.
Democratic incumbent Obama received 71 percent of the Latino vote in his successful bid for a second term.
Among the Hispanic community, practically everyone is related to or feels very close to someone who is undocumented, Vargas said.
Rubio, who represents Florida in the U.S. Senate, is the most prominent Latino in the GOP.