Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Immigration protesters interrupt Sen. Marco Rubio (w/video)

A year ago this month, Sen. Marco Rubio was heckled as he took the stage at a conservative gathering in Orlando.

On Monday he faced heat over the same issue — immigration — but from demonstrators on the opposite side of the debate.

A group of young activists interrupted a speech the Florida Republican was giving in South Carolina to accuse him of flip-flopping on support for Dreamers, the name given to undocumented immigrant youth.

A video posted on YouTube showed part of the outburst at U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's annual "Faith and Freedom BBQ." There were boos and one person yelled, "Go home."

"I'll start on that topic, how's that?" Rubio said, going on to praise the United States for having generous immigration laws.

Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate still recovering from the beating he took among conservatives for being involved in comprehensive immigration reform, also criticized the youth. "We are a sovereign country that deserves to have immigration laws," Rubio said, according to CNN, the crowd cheering him on. "You're doing harm to your own cause because you don't have a right to illegally immigrate to the United States."

Rubio also met privately with social conservatives while in South Carolina.

On Tuesday, Rubio again entered the immigration debate by sending a letter to President Barack Obama contending that immigration reform efforts on Capitol Hill would be dead for the foreseeable future if Obama proceeds with expected executive action to legalize more illegal immigrants.

"Your decision in 2012 to institute the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a major impediment to passage of the kind of immigration reform our nation needs," Rubio wrote. "No matter what we tried to do to institute meaningful enforcement measures in the Senate bill, opponents pointed to DACA as evidence of your unwillingness to enforce the law."

Rubio has called for ending deferred action, which has given legal status to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, including many in Florida. But activists say he's a hypocrite because Rubio worked on similar legislation in 2012.

Maria Palacios, of United We Dream-Tampa Bay, was one of the demonstrators who showed up at the event in Anderson, S.C. Some of the demonstrators went to Rubio's Miami office last week with a similar message.

"If Sen. Rubio wants us deported, we're here to ask him to tell us to our faces," Palacios said in a statement. "We went to Sen. Rubio's office in Florida, but his staff hid and closed the doors on us, so we're here to let him know that Dreamers do not forget, and that we will fight to keep our DACA. The Florida immigrant community must see that Sen. Rubio does not stand for us."

Rubio's visit to South Carolina was one stop in a busy August. He left Washington during the congressional recess and went to Iowa, where he attended a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst.

He has also visited California to raise money for his political committee and dipped into Colorado to fundraise for another Senate candidate, Cory Gardner. He popped up in Brimfield, Ill., on Aug. 19 for a fundraising event alongside Rep. Aaron Schock.

Next month, Rubio will head to Buffalo, N.Y., for more fundraising.

Immigration protesters interrupt Sen. Marco Rubio (w/video) 08/26/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.