Marco Rubio is now clarifying his earlier criticism of the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, which aims to have Arizona enforce immigration law by having police question people who they believe could be in the country illegally. Rubio, who came under some fire from the right for badmouthing the new law, now says he would support the newly-amended version.
The major change to the law is that police would only check a person’s immigration status if stopping them for potentially breaking another law. This was done in order to avoid accusations that the law invited racial profiling.
In an interview with Human Events, Rubio said: “Well, I congratulate them on doing that. As I’ve learned in my time in the state legislature, often important legislation is always a work in progress. They were quick to recognize some potential pitfalls. And it didn’t surprise me that they did because, as I said in my statement, I never believed that their intent was anything other than public safety.”Also from the interview:
Jason Mattera: If you were in the Arizona state legislature, would you have voted for the law?
Marco Rubio: The second one that passed hit the right note. Yes.
Jason Mattera: The first time around, would you have?
Marco Rubio: Well, I would have wanted to see changes like the ones that were made because I know that that’s not the intent of the bill. We’re always concerned. I mean no one is in favor of a bill that would force American citizens to have to interact with law enforcement in a way that wasn’t appropriate. And the first bill I thought held that door open.
Since then, the changes that have been made to the bill I think greatly improve it. Understand that what Arizona is facing is different from anything Florida has ever faced. Arizona has a physical border with Mexico. And there is kidnappings, human trafficking, drug wars coming across that border into an American city. Frankly, very few states in the country can imagine what that’s like.