Gov. Rick Scott has had it with Washington gridlock.
In an op-ed published Tuesday in USA Today, Scott called for congressional leaders to quit partisan squabbling and pass legislation that would protect DREAMers and secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
But Scott isn't calling for comprehensive immigration reform. He doesn't trust ongress to pass " 'comprehensive' anything."
"There is no doubt that there are many other immigration reforms that should be considered," Scott wrote. "Congress should look at all those issues, but they should stop the fanciful notion of doing everything at once," he wrote.
These positions are not new for Scott. Last September, in response to rumblings that the Trump administration would roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which it then did — Gov. Scott said he didn't believe DREAMers should be deported en masse.
"I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents," Scott said in a statement, referring to the beneficiaries of DACA.
New or not, Scott's willingness to publicly champion the rights of some undocumented immigrants is a far cry from the rhetoric we heard during the 2016 Republican presidential primary season. For months, and to great effect, then-candidate Donald Trump bashed his fellow Republican candidates, accusing them of being "pro-amnesty."
In that Trumpian vein, Scott's op-ed made an incredulous case for stronger border security.
"It completely escapes me why anyone opposes securing our borders, and why critics in Congress try to use their opposition to border security as some kind of a bargaining chip," Scott wrote. "In an increasingly dangerous world, don't all Americans want our borders to be secure?" (The recent decrease in border apprehensions has been one of the most notable Trump administration accomplishments.)
Even with his tough talk on illegal immigration, could Scott's more moderate stance on DACA hurt him with his base? We won't know unless Scott, who is termed out office after this year, takes a run at Bill Nelson's Senate seat in this year's midterm elections.
Even if Scott decides against a run, Congress is polling at a 15 percent approval rating. Bashing Washington for getting nothing done can hardly hurt the governor.