Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio offered a measure of support for President Obama’s first executive amnesty program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, during a recent interview he conducted in Spanish this week with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
Rubio’s comments mark a reversal of sorts from criticism he offered of DACA last year, and they also put him at odds with the conservative Republican base, which he will need in his corner if he hopes to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
“I believe DACA is important,” Rubio told Ramos in the interview, which was posted online and translated by Grabien. “It can’t be terminated from one moment to the next, because there are already people benefiting from it.”
Rubio did say that he believes DACA, which Obama announced in 2012 and granted amnesty to so-called DREAMers, should end, but only after immigration reform is passed.
“Well, at some point it is going to have to end, that is to say, it can’t continue being the permanent policy of the United States,” said Rubio, who conducted two interviews with Ramos: one in Spanish and the other in English. Ramos did not ask Rubio about DACA or immigration for the English-language discussion.
“I believe, if I become President, it is going to be possible to achieve immigration reform,” Rubio told Ramos in Spanish.
That rationale is similar to what Obama has used to defend his implementation of DACA and his more recent executive amnesty program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. Obama has repeatedly said that he acted unilaterally because Congress failed “to put a bill on my desk.”