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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio's Dream Act proposal gets flak from Romney adviser, er 'supporter'



WaPo: Romney was overheard at a Florida fundraiser the other day suggesting we need some form of “Republican DREAM Act.” Senator Marco Rubio has also been working on his own version. The Dem DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants in the military or in college. Rubio’s version, which is still being worked out, would stop short of this, but would allow young illegal immigrants who came to America with their parents to apply for non-immigrant visas and to stay to work or go to school. The distinction is between citizenship and legal status.

Such a compromise might enable Republicans to soften their hard edge on immigration and begin making inroads with the crucial Latino constituency. But (Kansas Secretary of State Kris) Kobach drew a sharp line, claiming that any path to even legal status is unacceptable, and said Romney wouldn’t cross it.

“I haven’t seen the details of Senator Rubio’s plan, but if it involves the giving of lawful status to illegal aliens en masse then it is unacceptable,” Kobach said. He also said: “A path to legal status for someone who is here illegally is amnesty by definition. It gives the alien what he has stolen.”

Asked if he thought Romney might embrace such an approach, Kobach said: “I don’t think so...I expect him to hold firm on his opposition to amnesty.”

Kobach advised Romney on immigration matters but the campaign seems to be trying to gain some distance, describing Kobach as a "supporter."

The comments illustrate the fine line Rubio must walk on the immigration issue. His proposal has already drawn fire from the far right, with critics saying his proposal is still "amnesty." Democrats, on the other side, say it doesn't go far enough.

Jim Messina, campaign manager for Barack Obama, said in a conference call that Obama wants to find common ground but said the president wants a path to citizenship. That echoed what Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said yesterday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 2:31pm]


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