Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio back in Washington as Senate takes up controversial 'sanctuary cities' bill



Marco Rubio isn’t in Washington much, so when he returns, as is the case Tuesday, it’s worth looking at why. The Senate today will take up legislation to crack down on “sanctuary cities,” and Rubio apparently does not want to miss supporting it, even if the measure will likely fail to get the 60 votes to advance.

The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act — which Harry Reid dismisses as the “Donald Trump Act” — is sponsored by Sen. David Vitter. Rubio, whose role in writing the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill continues to hurt him among conservatives, is one of 13 co-sponsors, along with fellow presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

The bill would take away federal law enforcement money from cities that do not detain undocumented immigrants. It was spurred by the shooting death of a 32-year-old woman, Kate Steinle, this summer in San Francisco by a man who had been deported to Mexico five times.

Numbers USA, a group that opposes more immigration, says there are 200 cities and counties across the country that do not automatically cooperate with immigration enforcement. They include Pinellas, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to the group.

The House passed a version in July. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who is from Rubio’s hometown Miami, called it a waste of time.

“This is a messaging piece of legislation aimed at addressing a very sad, horrible tragedy in San Francisco,” he said. “But this isn’t going to solve the problem. This isn’t going to secure the border. It’s not going to reform our visa system. And it isn’t going to help us identify those who are living in our country illegally.”

Today’s cloture vote is set for 2:15 p.m.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 10:19am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours