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Rubio urges GOP colleagues to tone done anti-immigration rhetoric

We've written how immigration has suddenly disappeared from the legislative agenda in Tallahassee, now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is urging his GOP colleagues to tone down the immigration rhetoric in Washington. Story here:

WASHINGTON -- With growing signs that Hispanic voters are turned off to GOP positions on immigration, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to use his national profile to deliver a message to his party: Tone it down.

“The Republican Party should not be labeled as the anti-illegal immigration party. Republicans need to be the pro-legal immigration party,” the Florida lawmaker said on Fox News Monday morning.

The appearance follows other efforts in the past two weeks — including a story in the Wall Street Journal and a speech in Texas — in which Rubio has criticized inflammatory immigration rhetoric.

“You’re talking about somebody’s mothers and grandmothers and brothers and sisters,” Rubio, the 40-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, said in Dallas.

His efforts constitute a tricky act of political maneuvering. Rubio, viewed by GOP leaders as a powerful draw for Hispanics, is trying to sound a more welcoming note without alienating the grass-roots conservatives who swept him into office in 2010 and who are vociferously pushing for tighter enforcement.