Politics
4:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Rubio Says Immigration Reform Should Look at Cuban's Special Status

Sen. Marco Rubio leans in to talk with second graders in Mrs. Robinson's class at Florida College Academy, a private school in Temple Terrace.
Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Florida’s junior U.S. Senator has become the face of bipartisan efforts to reform immigration. In fact, Sen. Marco Rubio’s stand has turned him from the “darling” of conservatives to a target of sorts.

Rubio visited the Florida College Academy in Temple Terrace to talk about his Educational Opportunities Act – which is a federal  version of Florida’s school voucher program that gives poor children school choice.

But Rubio was still carrying the banner for immigration reform.

“I don’t know anyone who is happy with the status quo,” Rubio told reporters during his school visit. “So, we’re trying to address that and improve it. So, we’ll listen to valid criticism on both sides of the aisle because we actually want to find a solution here.”

And that reform Rubio said should include an examination of the policy that allows Cubans open access to the U.S. because they are fleeing a repressive government.

“You also have people coming from Cuba and they’re here for a year and a day and they’re traveling back 10 or 12 times a year. And it’s hard to look other people in the eye and say these are exiles.” Rubio said. “So I’ve said that reality of that kind of travel is endangering the status Cubans have and that it should be examined.”

Rubio said ultimately not everyone is going to like what happens with reform, but keeping the current immigration system is not an option.

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