Senator Rubio has said helping children of illegal immigrants is a 'humanitarian mission', a stance critics say is hypocritical after filing his most recent bill .
30 May 2012
Rubio's stance on US immigration labelled hypocritical
Republican Senator Marco Rubio's stance on US immigration has been criticised as hypocritical after the Floridian senator filed a bill which would make it harder for undocumented immigrants to gain a child tax credit.
Senator Rubio, one of the most visible Hispanic figures within the Republican Party, is expected to announce the details of the Republican Party's answer to the Democratic DREAM Act, a US immigration proposal which would allow children of illegal immigrants who attend an American college or serve in the military the chance to gain citizenship.
The senator's bill is expected to propose a similar scenario as the Democrats; instead of granting citizenship, Senator Rubio's plan is thought to grant children of illegal immigrants who serve in the military a non-immigrant US visa.
Upon announcing the bill's writing, Senator Rubio avoided labelling the bill 'immigration reform' and instead insisted that helping children who were brought to the United States 'through no fault of their own' was a 'humanitarian mission'.
However, the senator this month filed a new bill which would impose tough new rules aimed at making it harder for illegal immigrants to collect $4.2 billion (£2.7 billion) in tax credits. Senator Rubio's office did not publicise the report, a move many feel demonstrate the senator's hypocrisy.
"There is no way Senator Rubio can logically square this proposal that puts low income US citizen children in the crosshairs with his professed desire to provide 'humanitarian' relied to 'blameless' undocumented youth," said a report published by the Center for American Progress.
"This attack on the child tax credit appears to be a calculated attempt by Senator Rubio to demonstrate his commitment to 'legality' and his willingness to crack down on illegal immigrants.
"But in his zeal to burnish his hard-line bona fides with conservatives, he would actually take food off the tables of low-income US citizen kids who are, in every sense of the word, blameless.
"Even using a political calculator, adding Senator Rubio's two proposals together equals hypocrisy."
Senator Rubio, considered a favourite on Republican nominee Mitt Romney's list of vice president candidates, dismissed criticism of his Responsible Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Act of 2012 as partisanship.
"Senators Rubio, [John] Thune and others are sponsoring common sense legislation to crack down on fraud that costs taxpayers," said the senator's spokesperson.
"Obviously some partisan groups are looking for any excuse to attack Senator Rubio and they’re confusing the issue here. We're continuing to develop Senator Rubio's proposal to help high-achieving, undocumented children and hope to have bipartisan legislation soon."
The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.