WILL SENATOR MARCO RUBIO BE THE NEXT VICE PRESIDENT: HE SAYS HE CAN’T DELIVER, “YOU’VE GOT TO EARN THE HISPANIC VOTE”

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, widely speculated to be a top pick for the Republican presidential running mate, once again firmly denied he would join the GOP ticket.

“I’m not going to be the vice president,” Rubio said Friday in an interview with CNN en Español‘s Ismael Cala. “I’m not.”

photo source AP

“I’ll tell you, the Hispanic vote has to be earned,” he said. “You can’t just put somebody on there and say, ‘This is gonna deliver it.’ You’ve got to earn it, and primarily I think you earn it through economic policies.”

Last month, Rubio rolled out a big endorsement for Mitt Romney, adding fuel to the fire in talks over whether Rubio, whose parents emigrated from Cuba, would possibly be tapped for the Republican veep spot. Rubio, however, has repeatedly shot down the notion. With Latino-Americans becoming a more influential voting bloc, politicians are increasingly growing more aggressive in their efforts to court their votes. But the junior senator argued Friday that choosing him as a running mate would not do the trick.

In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio won the senate seat convincingly, with a strong turnout from Latino voters. Photograph: Gary Rothstein/EPA

“I think a better approach is the one I’ve talked about, and that is providing these kids some sort of non-immigrant visa status so they can continue to study and then work in the U.S.,” Rubio said. “Then at some point in the future they would be able to get in line, same line as everybody else in the world.”

Elected in 2010, Rubio was dubbed early on a rising star in GOP. He’s known for bucking popular policies within the Latino community, such as the DREAM Act, a proposal that would grant a path to citizenship for minors in the country illegally, providing they served in the armed forces or attended college. Instead, he sides with positions more inline with the Republican platform on immigration.

Asked if he was setting aside a vice presidential spot in hopes of aiming for higher office in the future, Rubio said:

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, works in his Washington office. (EFE)

“Well I haven’t thought about that in that way. I don’t know what the future holds. I want to do a good job as a U.S. senator. “I think if I do that, I’ll have opportunities to do different things in future.”

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WHY ARE LATINO DEMOCRATS CALLING ROMNEY “RADICAL?”

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Democratic state legislators from the Southwest followed President Obama’s example on Wednesday by putting the “radical” label on GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s agenda as they blasted the candidate’s immigration stance.

State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer of Texas, Crisanta Duran of Colorado and Ruben Gallego of Arizona condemned Romney during a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee for aligning himself with some of the most anti-immigrant voices in his party.

Photo credit: Tim Gaynor

“If Mitt Romney intends to go after President Obama on immigration, he has a problem: Latinos have been following Romney’s extreme policies, and he has zero credibility with our community,” Duran said.

photo source: Cafferty File  

The state legislators at the same time described President Obama as an “ally” and “friend” of the Hispanic community, which has traditionally been at the center of the immigration debate.

The “radical” characterization of Romney appeared on the state legislators’ par langue only a day after Obama used it to denounce the current Republican vision on the country, which the president said “is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.”

Martinez Fischer attacked Romney specifically for the candidate’s promise to veto the DREAM Act – a bill that would provide lawful status to undocumented immigrants who graduate from college or enroll in the military – should Congress pass it.

photo source: AP

“Let’s just make it very clear. Ninety one percent of Latinos support the DREAM Act,” Martinez Fischer said. “Translation: Romney is out of step with 91 percent of Latinos in this country.”

The representative from San Antonio acknowledged that Obama has been “tough” on illegal immigration, but he amended the president’s record breaking number of deportations estimated at more than 1 million since taking office, by arguing that Obama has tried to obtain immigration reform.

photo source: AP

“We need to recognize that when Latinos say ‘Who is our advocate?’ At least Obama’s name is in the conversation,” Martinez Fischer said. “You will not find (Republican Sen.) John McCain anymore.”

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THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SENATOR MARCO RUBIO

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

In a Fox News Latino Exclusive interview, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he agrees with the 90 percent of Latinos who support the Dream Act -which allows young people who grew up in the U.S. and are in school or the military to become citizens.

In the interview the son of Cuban immigrants told me the proposed law, written by Democrats, would have allowed for “chain migration” of 3 to 4 million of the young people’s relatives. He is reportedly considering proposing a version of the Dream Act that blocks deportation of those young people but does not give them citizenship.

The senator’s uneasy straddle on the Dream Act is similar to his attempt to ride the fence on immigration reform.  He supports tough new laws passed by Republicans in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina to allow police to demand proof of citizenship – arguably exposing all Latinos to harassment based on racial and ethnic profiling. In that case, the senator said he stands with the Republicans who put the laws in place because local officials are reflecting their constituents’ frustration at the lack of federal action on immigration reform. But he wants the federal government to take the lead. The young senator’s difficult tap dance with the Dream Act and immigration reform is more than one politician’s problem.

Sen. Rubio, the son of Cuban American immigrants, is every Republican’s first choice to be the vice presidential nominee in 2012. His presence on the Republican ticket is potentially a game-changer with Hispanics now the fastest growing segment of American voters and with a large presence in swing states, such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

WATCH MARCO RUBIO’S FOX NEWS INTERVIEW

http://video.foxnews.com/v/video-embed.html?video_id=1539051691001&w=466&h=263
Rubio could also help Romney with conservatives because of his ties to the far-right Tea Party.  Rubio is also working with republicans in congress, including Senators in states with large immigrant populations, to write an immigration reform proposal that could win support of a majority of Republicans. The pressure for a Romney-Rubio ticket grew in recent days after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, and also went public with his preference for Rubio to be on the GOP ticket. Rubio contributed to political buzz when he quickly followed Bush’s lead with his own endorsement of Romney. “Marco Rubio is living proof that the American dream is still very much alive,” Romney said in a release thanking Rubio for the endorsement.

In February, a national Fox News Latino poll found that 24 percent of likely Latino voters said they are more likely to vote Republican if Senator Rubio is on the ticket.

But Rubio, on the night he endorsed Romney, insisted to me he will not accept an invitation to run with Romney. I asked him if he might change his mind if Romney and other GOP power brokers tell him that his potential power to attract Latino voters to the Republican ticket will be the difference between winning and losing the White House.

“First of all, these hypothetical questions are dangerous,” he said. “And it isn’t going to be the choice between winning and losing. You know, you don’t win or lose a presidential race on a VP pick. You win or lose on competing visions for the future of our country. “And I think we Republicans have an opportunity to offer a very clear contrast to the direction that [President] Barack Obama has taken and wants to continue to take the U.S. ,” he concluded.

The Fox News Latino poll shows that President Obama now has a job approval rating of 73 percent among Latino voters. None of the candidates running for the Republican nomination, including Mitt Romney, gets more than 14 percent of the Latino vote when facing President Obama.

“If Mitt Romney puts a Hispanic candidate on the ticket, I don’t think Hispanic voters are going to look at that say ‘Oh, yeah!,’ and ignore his stand against the Dream Act,” said Joel Benenson, President Obama’s campaign pollster.  The pollster said Romney’s policies on immigration are hurting him with Hispanics.

In fact, Romney has taken the hardest stand against immigration reform of any of the Republicans, including his famous proposal to have illegal immigrants deport themselves. He also criticized former Sen. Rick Santorum for supporting the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latino justice on the Supreme Court. Romney has also gone after Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing into law an in-state tuition benefit for illegal immigrants seeking an education.

So, does Sen. Rubio think Romney and the GOP vision for America’s economic future has any chance of getting through to Latino voters?

“Absolutely, [it will get to] all the communities in America,” Rubio said. No other community understands “empowerment, upward mobility, better than the Latino community… [it] is the reason why they are here to begin with. And the best system in the world for upward mobility and economic empowerment is the American free enterprise system. I would argue the Democrat’s agenda is undermining [it].”
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WHAT IS THE GOP BACKED DREAM ACT?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has made it clear he wants to push for a GOP-backed DREAM Act that would give undocumented students legal status — but not citizenship — and now Republicans hope to use this watered-down version of the bill to win support from Latino voters. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) are also working on a bill like this, which is being kept under wraps and is expected to be unveiled if or when Mitt Romney wins the GOP presidential nomination.

Rubio told The Hill that he has nothing to announce about a non-citizenship DREAM Act, but said, “We’re working toward that and hopefully very soon.” While Rubio, Kyl, and Hutchinson are supposedly prepping a Republican plan, it’s worth noting that the original DREAM Act — to provide citizenship to undocumented students if they meet certain requirements — was a bipartisan plan that had support from GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch (UT) and John McCain (AZ).

Now if Rubio introduces the legal-status-only plan, it will likely be little more than posturing and doubtful to make it far because Republicans like Rep. Lamar Smith (TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, are categorically opposed to the DREAM Act and it is doubtful Democrats would support creating a permanent underclass of immigrants. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed out that Republicans have already opposed this measure too, which would impose a class system for immigrants:

At an event on Capitol Hill, Reid cautioned that if Republicans offer a new DREAM Act, it will be a watered-down version of the bill most Republicans opposed when it came up for a vote last year. […]

[G]roups that advocate for immigrants are skeptical of reforms that fail to grant a path to citizenship.

“Any proposal that is put on the table as to the fate of these children, who are in all consideration American, should be measured by what place they’re going to have in our society,” said Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration at the National Council of La Raza.

Martinez said creating “a class of nation-less people” would not be good for the country.

Earlier this month in an interview with Geraldo Rivera, Rubio teetered between his opposition to the current DREAM Act, which would provide citizenship, and trying to lay out a plan that would appeal to Latinos. “You can legalize someone’s status in this country with a significant amount of certainty about their future without placing them on a path toward citizenship,” he argued.

But his plan would force potentially millions of undocumented students to become non-voting residents of their home country if they were only given legal status in the U.S. After the extremely anti-immigrant views that the Republican presidential candidates have staked out during the primaries, a plan to create a system of second-class citizenship is not likely to be what Latino voters are looking for from the Republican party.

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WILL OBAMA REFORM IMMIGRATION: A LOOK INTO VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN’S STANCE ON REFORM AND DREAM ACT

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Vice President Joe Biden wants comprehensive reform and the DREAM Act.

As vice president, Joe Biden often has taken the lead in arguing the Obama administration’s positions on immigration issues.

This is particularly true when it comes to the DREAM Act, comprehensive reform and criticism of states that have written their own immigration laws such as Arizona and Alabama.

In January 2012, Biden spoke to a group of college students in Reno, Nev., and told them that the administration is committed to pushing passage of DREAM Act legislation that will allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay reduced, in-state tuition rates.

“The president and I are absolutely, positively, foursquare, for the DREAM Act,” Biden said. “It makes no sense not to educate everyone in this country who is here with a college degree.”

Biden’s wife, Jill, the United States’ “second lady,” is a longtime educator who has taught at several colleges, most recently at Northern Virginia Community College. The Bidens have been outspoken in their belief that a college education should be within reach of all U.S. residents.

Photo: Frank Polich/Getty Images

Biden often has made the argument that it makes no sense to deny children of undocumented immigrants an education because of the violations of their parents. He also has made the economic argument that, with an education, these youths could become productive members of U.S. society who pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

Echoing the sentiments of President Obama, Biden believes passing the DREAM Act should be part of comprehensive reform that makes broad changes to U.S. immigration policy.

“Our immigration system is broken,” he has said often. “This is a federal responsibility we have not lived up to.”

While acknowledging that Congress and the federal government have failed at reforming the system, Biden does not believe states have the right to go forward and write their own immigration laws. The vice president has been a vocal critic of the hardline immigration laws passed by Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and a half-dozen other states.

In a May 2010 speech in Phoenix, Ariz., Biden criticized Arizona’s State Bill 1070 as divisive, ill-advised and an unconstitutional over-reach by the state legislature.

He said the law will “only increase fear, suspicion and intolerance.” He warned that it is sure to promote profiling and lead to the arrests of people “just because of the way they look.”

The Obama administration has challenged the Arizona law and Alabama’s in the courts. Among the most controversial provisions of the laws are those giving local police broad powers to stop and arrest people merely on the suspicion they are in the country illegally. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on Arizona’s law by the summer of 2012.

Biden says the federal government has to do a better job securing the border with Mexico. But he says it’s unrealistic to think that a 2,000-mile border can be totally secured with fencing and technology.

He believes border security also has to be part of comprehensive reform that includes a guest worker program to allow migrants to come into the United States legally, work and then return home.

“There doesn’t need to be a 700-mile fence,” Biden said during a 2007 Democratic presidential debate when he was a candidate for the highest office. “Fourteen million illegals? Now you tell me how many buses, car loads, planes that are going to go out, round up all these people, spend hundreds of millions of billions of dollar.”

Instead of unrealistic mass deportations, Biden says reform should include a path to permanent residency for undocumented immigrants living in the country. The administration supports a plan that would allow these immigrants to remain here legally if they clear background checks, pay back taxes and learn English.

Immigration is part of Biden’s ancestry. His maternal grandparents were born in western Ireland and migrated to the United States in the mid-19th century.

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