Rubio’s cowardice and ambition could kill immigration bill

Sen. Marco Rubio, the GOP's immigration point man.

Sen. Marco Rubio, the GOP’s immigration point man.

You might have thought that after the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came to an agreement over the weekend on guest workers – historically the trickiest part of immigration reform for unions – that the immigration bill the senatorial Gang of Eight has been working on would find the road a little smoother. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) even went on the Sunday shows this week and crowed about a “substantial” agreement moving forward with both Democratic and Republican support.

Except that the Republican most identified with the bill put the brakes on it. On Saturday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) fired off a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asking him to slow down the possible legislation.

“I am aware that the Judiciary Committee, both under your leadership and under the leadership of your predecessors, has conducted a number of hearings related to immigration reform,” wrote Rubio. “But they cannot be a substitute for fresh hearings to consider specific legislation as part of a national conversation.”

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