Sunday, February 18, 2018
Politics

Sen. Marco Rubio tries to reframe Dream Act alternative as 'humanitarian' concern

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen Marco Rubio sought Thursday to reframe his proposal to give legal status to children of illegal immigrants as a "humanitarian" concern rather than part of the contentious immigration debate.

The rhetorical shift comes while his plan continues to face skepticism from Democrats and as sharper objections are bubbling up in conservative circles.

"There are concerns by many people in my own party that we need to do enforcement first before we do anything on immigration. Those are valid concerns," the Florida Republican said. "But I would just say this is really not an immigration issue; it's a humanitarian issue.

"We do have hundreds of thousands of young people in this country that entered without any fault of their own and if we have a chance to allow them to get right what their parents got wrong, and if we can do it in a way that doesn't encourage illegal immigration in the future, we should consider that."

Rubio's proposal is an alternative to the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship and has widespread support among Democrats and undocumented youths. Many Republicans consider that amnesty, Rubio included. His plan would instead grant nonimmigrant visas but the youths would have to go through the process of becoming permanent residents.

Appearing at a Washington hotel before a business group from Iowa, Rubio stressed the limited scope of his plan and that he preferred dealing with immigration "sequentially."

Casting it as humanitarian — he likened it to the special status afforded to "Cuban refugees" — is a newer approach that seems to indicate the difficulty Rubio is facing in pitching his plan, which has still not been officially released. His office said it was not a strategic shift and that it reflects is feelings.

The GOP is trying to seek a more moderate stance on immigration as the Hispanic population grows and the problem at the border subsides. But Rubio's plan has come under fire from the right. Anti-immigration groups have mobilized to call his office in opposition and urge other Republicans against it.

On Tuesday, a group of GOP House members joined with the Federation for American Immigration Reform and conservative radio hosts in an effort to caution the party not to back down on illegal immigration.

"Rubio needs to wake up, or those who follow him are going to fall off a cliff," FAIR spokesman Bob Dane said, according to Congressional Quarterly.

Rubio's comments came at the end of a wide-ranging speech before the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Iowa, of course, holds the nation's first presidential nominating contest and Rubio's appearance elicited a number of nodding winks to his political ambitions.

His speech focused on American exceptionalism and drew sustained applause.

"They'd love him in Iowa," said John Viars, a Democrat from Des Moines. "He's got all the right beats, he knows exactly how to play his audience. He was so carefully negotiating his response to the immigration question. I think that's the key — these kids are human beings."

Comments
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Published: 02/17/18
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Published: 02/17/18
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Published: 02/17/18
Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

It’s been five years since the guns and immigration debate collided at the same time on Capitol Hill. This time, the results were even more unproductive.In early 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at an elementary school ...
Published: 02/17/18
Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

TAMPA — Well, that was fast.Adult film actress Stormy Daniels made her first appearance at Thee Dollhouse on Friday evening, the first of several shows planned this weekend at the Tampa strip club.She took the stage about 7 p.m. dressed in a pink, fl...
Published: 02/16/18

3 things we just learned from the indictment of 13 Russians in the Mueller investigation

We have the first indictment in Robert Mueller’s investigation that actually has to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The special counsel on Friday indicted 13 Russians in connection with a large-scale troll farm effort aimed at influenc...
Published: 02/16/18
Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

NEW YORK — Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknow...
Published: 02/16/18
Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Associated PressSALT LAKE CITY — Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is running for a Utah Senate seat, officially launching his political comeback attempt Friday by praising his adopted home state as a model for an acrimonious national governmen...
Published: 02/16/18
Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race

Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race

WASHINGTON — Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin were charged Friday in an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda, aimed in part at helping Republican Donald T...
Published: 02/16/18