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Immigration-hardline group attacks Marco Rubio in Florida TV spots


Folks in Brevard County tell us that the hardline group Californians for Population Stablization has begun running at least one of three 30-second spots attacking Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for his help in drafting the Senate's immigration-reform bill.

The spot that's running now, seen on NBC, savages the immigration bill for flooding Florida with workers at a time when joblessness still plagues the land. It's a potent message in the Space Coast for two reasons: It's a very conservative place and unemployment is among the highest in the state.

**Update: The Florida Immigrant Coalition and others call CAPS a "hate group." More here

While the Florida media buys likely aren't big, it's another sign that Rubio -- a 2016 White House hopeful and GOP frontrunner -- faces some conservative blowback in his own backyard for backing immigration reform. And his support for hard-core conservative positions (from voting against an iteration of the Violence Against Women Act to opposing Gulf oil-spill money because it was laden with pork) don't seem to matter as much as adopting a center-right position on immigration reform.

In a statement, Rubio's office disagrees that there's been much blowback because "he was very well received at all the recent GOP dinners he spoke at back in the state, and we continue to get good feedback from our conservative grassroots. There's been a handful of anti-immigration protests, but as your paper has noted, they've been poorly attended.

"I have no objection to you saying that we're getting some backlash from anti-immigration forces, but I'd disagree with characterizing those groups as 'conservative,' since conservatives traditionally support legal immigration, and many of these groups (including the California group running the new ad) do not."

Rubio's not alone. His fellow Republican Senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, is also targeted with ads that essentially swap out their names and states.

Note: The facts and figures the group uses are controversial and the subject of dispute. Case in point: The finding that the pathway to citizenship (which the ad calls "amnesty") would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion, according to the Heritage Foundation. That's over 50 years (the ad doesn't note that) and the figure has been bashed as incomplete (and the study had a major PR problem as well). For instance, Harvard Medical School reported today that, from 2002-09, immigrants generated surpluses of $115 billion in the Medicare program while the native-born population generated a deficit of $28 billion.

Here are the spots with the text

This is an SOS to jobless people in Florida from the people of California. The immigration bill sponsored by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will admit 33 million more foreign workers to take jobs. Many will take jobs in states highly affected by immigration, like California and Florida. With millions of Americans looking for full time work, is now the time to bring in millions more foreign job seekers? Is that your idea of immigration reform?

This is an SOS from the people of California to the people of Florida: Save Our States. Your Senator, Marco Rubio, wants to bring in millions more immigrant workers to take our jobs. He wants more green cards and amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, giving access to Social Security benefits paid for by all of us. Call Senator Rubio now at 866 630 7106. Tell him to stop his mass immigration amnesty plan


This is an SOS to the taxpayers of Florida from the taxpayers of California. Fifty-seven percent of all immigrant households with children use welfare. Yet the immigration bill sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio admits another 33 million immigrants, adding millions more to welfare, costing taxpayers trillions. Immigration states like Florida and California will be most impacted. Are you willing to pay higher taxes to double immigration? Is that your idea of immigration reform?