Florida’s Rubio Supports SB 1070, Not Children of Undocumented

By Jamilah King May 06, 2010

After a week of flip-flopping on the issue, Florida Republican Senate Candidate Marco Rubio has come out in favor of Arizona’s SB 1070. Rubio, the Miami-born son of Cuban exiles, was recently endorsed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Shortly after Arizona passed the controversial law, Rubio — like Bush — expressed "concerns" that the bill would "unreasonably single out people who were here illegally." Now, it seems like Rubio’s caved to conservative pressure. In an a recent interview he centered his support on "public safety:"

"But right now, for the people of Arizona, this is not (from I gathered) this is not even an immigration issue. This is a public safety issue. And the fact is that Mexican drug violence has tragically crossed over the border and into an American state and American cities. So I congratulate them on taking steps to clarify even further the intent of the law."

Adam Serwer pointed out that violence from Mexico hasn’t crossed the border and Arizona’s undocumented population has actually decreased in recent years. Rubio also appears to have little sympathy for the children of undocumented workers who could be deported alongside their parents, according to Serwer and Politico’s Ben Smith:

"There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that," he said, suggesting that those hardships would be a price worth paying.

Word around our office is this: We finally have a high-profile Republican who really understands the impact of immigration policy on people’s lives. Said politician just doesn’t care. Rubio’s senate campaign is one of many to watch heading into November. For a better idea of the top Senate races to watch, check out this interactive map from the New York Times.