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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio says Gov. Scott's veto an 'argument for immigration reform'

Reacting to Gov. Rick Scott's controversial veto of a bill that would have helped children of illegal immigrants in Florida obtain temporary driver’s licenses, Sen. Marco Rubio said today "it's an argument for immigration reform."

"These are the kinds of issues we're going to continue to face around the country," if immigration is not addressed, Rubio told Florida reporters in Washington this afternoon. He said he had not read Scott's veto message but is aware that Scott contends the legal status conferred on young "Dreamers" by the Obama administration is not legal.

"Quite frankly I too am troubled by the way the president did what he did," Rubio said. "But at the end of the day, the big picture to take away from it is this is one of the reasons why we need to pass immigration reform. So that issues like this, that continue pop up at the state level, will no longer to pop up."

But was it the right thing to do? The bill was supported by all but two lawmakers. "I wasn't part of the debate. I don't know what the counter arguments are to it. It sounded like it had broad bi-partisan appeal. I know the governor is concerned about the way at which the president went about justifying doing what he did. I share those concerns and I expressed them at the time."

Asked bluntly if he is backing away from the immigration bill, the Florida Republican reaffirmed that border security needs to be improved.

"I'm working as hard on immigration reform today as I ever have," he said. "I'm 100 percent committed to immigration reform. But I'm committed to an immigration reform law, not an immigration reform bill. That’s what I'm trying to accomplish. Somehow if efforts here were to slow down, for whatever reason, I'll keep working. I won’t abandon this issue until it gets done."

[Last modified: Thursday, June 6, 2013 7:02pm]

    

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