Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., found himself in the hot seat this week at a Nevada book signing after an activist called him out on immigration reform. The Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday that Astrid Silva, commonly known as the poster child for President Barack Obama's recent executive actions protecting immigrants from deportation, stood up at Rubio's event and asked the potential 2016 presidential contender why he didn't support undocumented immigrants.
"I wanted him to see our faces," Silva told reporters in Spanish. "I told him, you could be the Latino community’s pride if you just supported this." Rubio publicly opposed Obama's decision last year to protect up to 5 million immigrants from deportation by expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and creating the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program.
The correct way to address immigration, Rubio told reporters Wednesday, is spelled out in his book "American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone." "Step one is to show the American people that we’re serious about bringing future illegal immigration under control,” Rubio said. “Step two is reforming our legal immigration system so that it works better, so that it’s less costly, more efficient and better for our country. Step three is dealing reasonably with the people that have been here a long period of time and have not otherwise violated our laws."
Rubio also said Wednesday that while he was against the impending Department of Homeland Security shutdown, Congress can't accept any version of the funding bill that finances Obama's immigration policies. The executive actions are unconstitutional, Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told Politico.
The senator appeared in Las Vegas on the same day applications for the president's expanded immigration policy were scheduled to open. A Texas judge halted the process late Monday by issuing a temporary injunction blocking the White House from implementing the program. The Obama administration has indicated it will appeal the ruling.