Marco Rubio seen as ducking on immigration
A crack is forming in U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's tea party.
Conservative activists — still raw over what they say was his role in blocking illegal immigration legislation while speaker of the Florida House — say the burgeoning Republican star needs to deliver on campaign rhetoric for tougher enforcement.
"We've been waiting for him to come up with something and to be a leader on this issue," said Danita Kilcullen, founder of Tea Party Fort Lauderdale.
When President Barack Obama traveled to Texas recently to call for a renewed immigration debate, Rubio said the borders need to be secured before anything. He demanded action on an employment background check system called E-Verify.
But Rubio has not made an effort to sponsor immigration legislation or even highlight the issue — it is not listed on his website, tea party members note. And he remained on the sidelines as E-Verify was narrowly defeated this month in the Florida Legislature, where Rubio is held in almost holy regard.