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Rubio raises eyebrows with immigration remarks

June 19, 2012 by NCC Staff


Senator Marco Rubio’s new book is out and comments made in it about theoretically breaking U.S. immigration laws should only fan the fires about his candidacy for the vice presidency.

Our sharped-eyed friends at Yahoo! News reported on the book passage, as the story was also picked up on The Drudge Report and ABC News on Tuesday. (The actual quote in question appears in a review posted Monday night on

In An American Son, Rubio answers a strictly hypothetical question: Would he break U.S. immigrations laws if he lived in a country with conditions so bad that he couldn’t feed his family and escaping to America was their only hope?

"Many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn't feed our families," Rubio writes in An American Son, which went on sale today.  "If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here."

Rubio’s views on immigration differ in some ways Republican party leaders. His parents left Cuba in the 1950s but he is also a staunch Republican.

The presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, has taken a strong stand against illegal immigration.

“A strong legal immigration system is an integral component of what makes America exceptional,” Romney says on his official campaign site.

The immigration issue jumped to the top of the political hot list last week, when President Barack Obama issued an order allowing some illegal immigrants to stay in the United States.

Rubio criticized the way Obama used his presidential powers to offer a short-term solution to a long-term problem, matching similar criticism from Romney.

“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem,” Rubio said last week. He also said Obama circumvented the Constitution to deal with a problem best dealt with by Congress.

In another report about Rubio on Tuesday, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl says that Rubio isn’t being vetted as a potential running mate by Romney’s campaign team.

The Romney camp started background checks on prospective vice presidential candidates in April.

That wouldn’t preclude the Romney campaign from considering Rubio, since the presidential nominee doesn’t usually name a running mate until the eve of the convention, which in this case is in Rubio’s home state in late August.

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