THEN: On April 27 in West Miami, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio said of a new Arizona law that 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 said.
The law also gives the police sweeping powers to detain suspected illegal immigrants they come in "contact" with.
"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."
NOW: Rubio tells the conservative web site Human Events he would have voted for the law. "The second one that passed hit the right note, yes.''
What changed between then and now? The law was tweaked, limiting police to investigating a person's immigrant status who is being stopped, detained or arrested because of another offense -- like speeding. At the same time, a provision was added to the law that extends immigration enforcement to local ordinances, leading critics to question whether someone guilty of a code violation could be scrutinized. Not having immigration papers remains a crime.