Sen. Marco Rubio used to be for comprehensive immigration reform, until he decided to flip flop for the sake of political expediency, as Steve Benen discussed last year:
It was just two years ago that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) partnered with Democrats on a comprehensive immigration reform package, which was supposed to be the Floridian’s signature issue and ticket to national prominence. Soon after, however, his party turned against the compromise, prompting Rubio to abandon his own bill and betray his allies in advance of his presidential campaign. With this in mind, it came as something of a surprise to see Rubio, of all people, admonishing Donald Trump for reversing course on immigration for the sake of political expediency. Politico reported:
Rubio was asked on Fox News about a poll in Florida showing Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush trailing Trump in their home state. Rubio said it had absolutely nothing to do with Trump’s stances on immigration. […] “Well first of all, Donald was a supporter of amnesty and the DREAM Act, he changed his position on those issues just to run for president,” Rubio said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
For those wondering why Rubio isn’t already running away with the Republican nomination, keep moments like these in mind.
The same candidate who was an enthusiastic proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, who then clumsily transitioned to an enthusiastic critic of his own proposal, is now whining about someone else changing their position “just to run for president.” [...]
Rubio specifically said the “ideal” solution would be some kind of “reform system,” but if Congress does nothing, the senator added that the existing policy “will end” – because a Rubio administration has no intention of leaving it in place.
This would be a striking position for any national candidate, but the fact that Rubio has adopted such a posture, after pushing so aggressively in the exact opposite direction, is just stunning. Salon noted yesterday, “It’s the question of what to do with DREAMers that separates the immigration hardliners from the true xenophobes.”
Quite right. Rubio is siding with the latter, even when dealing with children for whom the United States is the only home they’ve ever known.
It seems he's still siding with the hardliners, and on this Sunday's Meet the Press, Rubio told host Chuck Todd that president-elect Trump should not renew the permits for those protected by DACA, and pretended there's a snowball's chance in hell of his party getting some sort of comprehensive immigration reform passed before most of them would find themselves being deported:
CHUCK TODD: All right. And final question. Donald Trump is going to rescind a lot of executive orders that President Obama made. Let me ask you one specifically. It's called DACA, essentially for Dreamers, granting essentially amnesty, we can shorthand it here, amnesty for those who were brought into this country as children so that they're protected and not deported. What is your recommendation to Donald Trump on that specific executive order?
MARCO RUBIO: So my recommended would be that there are people that have already availed themselves of that, and that there's a period of time for that. I would not retroactively remove their status. I would say that, from some point forward, people will not be allowed to apply for renewal for that status. And that will give us a defined period of time to work through this, beginning with border security and modernization of the legal immigration system. But then quickly--
CHUCK TODD: So don't rescind it immediately.
MARCO RUBIO: Well, people already have it. So someone has that DACA permit. But it's not indefinite. It expires. And what I would say is, if you have it, you'll have it for the remainder of that period of time, but you will not be able to renew it. In the meantime, and it's not a long period of time, but it does give us the time to do border security, modernization, and then move to something very reasonable for people like those who came here as children, or those who have been here for a long time who are not criminals to allow them to attain some legal status through a legal way, not an unconstitutional way, which is what DACA is.