Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio -- who as the first Cuban-American House Speaker did not herd measures to curb illegal immigration to a vote -- was critical today of a new Arizona law described as the strictest crackdown in the nation.
The law makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime. "That's not really something that Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state,'' he told reporters after signing papers to qualify for the 2010 ballot at a West Miami rally
The law, which gives the police sweeping powers to detain suspected illegal immigrants, has sparked a nationwide outcry from Hispanic and immigant advocates, who say it will lead to ethnic and racial profiling.
"I think the law has potential unintended consequences and it's one of the reasons why I think immigration needs to be a federal issue, not a state one,'' Rubio said. "That's how I felt when I was in Florida House. I believe the ultimate solution is going to be for the federal government to take action, and my hope is that the Obama administration does not use this as an excuse to ram through amnesty or something that would make it impossible for us to have a legal immigation system that works. My hope is that this will be a wake-up call for the federal government to take the illegal immigration problem seriously....
"Everyone is concerned with the prospect of the reasonable suspicious provisions where individuals could be pulled over because someone suspects they may not be legal in this country. I think over time people will grow uncomfortable with that...I've always says I think the ultimate solution is to create a technologically based system where employers can verify the eligibility of the folks they are employing."
Rubio said in February that he did not think illegal immigrants should be counted in the U.S. Census, even though that could significantly reduce federal funding to states.