Marco Rubio will return to Washington on Tuesday to file legislation in the U.S. Senate to end automatic federal benefits for Cuban immigrants.
Rubio let the news slip Thursday at a presidential campaign event in Bedford, New Hampshire, NBC News reported. The Florida senator later confirmed his plans to Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4 in an interview.
"We have people living in Cuba off Social Security benefits. They never worked here," Rubio said at the house party in the town of Bedford. "This is an outrageous abuse, and I have a law that we are going to introduce this week that shuts down this issue. It's wrong."
Rubio's bill would be a Senate companion to legislation filed last month in the House by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Miami Republican (who, incidentally, supports Rubio rival Jeb Bush).
Curbelo's proposal wouldn't touch the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which allows Cubans to apply for U.S. residency after a year and a day in the country. But it would stop automatic federal benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid for Cubans, who under existing law are treated as refugees even without formal refugee status.
Rubio reiterated in New Hampshire that the Cuban Adjustment Act should be reviewed, a position he has advocated in the past as Cuban immigration has shifted from people fleeing political persecution to those seeking a better economy.