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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: Talk of immigration deal 'premature'



U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio often seems to be moving on double time, but as talks on immigration reached a critical point over the weekend, he was doing the opposite: Calling for a slower pace and warning that talk of a deal is "premature."

“I’m encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers. However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature," the Florida Republican said in a statement Sunday.

“We have made substantial progress, and I believe we will be able to agree on a legislative proposal that modernizes our legal immigration system, improves border security and enforcement and allows those here illegally to earn the chance to one day apply for permanent residency contingent upon certain triggers being met. However, that legislation will only be a starting point."

Rubio's tone underscores the delicate position he is with immigration, at once trying to lead on an issue that has damaged the GOP with Hispanics and stay in good standing with the conservative base.

[Last modified: Monday, April 1, 2013 8:45am]


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