Photo: Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday warned President Barack Obama that use of his executive authority to curb deportations would “close to the door” to immigration reform.
The lawmaker sent a message to the president addressing the potential measures that Obama could take, given the inability of Congress to prepare a bill on comprehensive immigration reform, a task that has been blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
“It is my sincere belief that if we can bring illegal immigration under control and modernize our legal immigration system, then the American people and a majority of their representatives in Congress would be willing to reasonably and responsibly address the issue of millions of people currently in this nation illegally,” Rubio wrote.
“It will not be easy. And it will not be unanimous. But if we can make real progress on stemming the tide of illegal immigration, I am convinced we will have the support necessary to address this serious issue once and for all,” the Cuban-American lawmaker said.
Rubio, one of the Republican members of the Gang of Eight who participated in preparing the bipartisan immigration reform bill approved by the Senate in June 2013, said he had “grown increasingly alarmed by news” of a possible expansion of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” the senator told the president.
Rubio acknowledged the pressure that Obama is receiving from pro-immigrant activists to grant legal status to the parents of DACA beneficiaries, but he warned that his first duty is to take measures to secure the border.
“As someone who believes sincerely in the need for reform, is the son of immigrants, and lives in a community of immigrants, I still reserve some optimism that you’ll reject the politics of the moment and remember that the decisions you make will impact the people at the heart of this issue long after your duty to serve them has come to an end,” Rubio said.