BENJY SARLIN FEBRUARY 19, 2013, 1:20 PM 1050
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is working to put as much daylight as possible between him and President Obama on immigration, insisting that a leaked White House proposal is totally different than his own plan.
“Our policy folks spent the last few hours going through the WH’s legislative proposal have found major differences between what the President is proposing and what Sen. Rubio and the bipartisan group of Senators have agreed to,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant wrote in a memo to reporters on Tuesday.
Conant said the administration proposal was “not a permanent solution” because it lacked either a guest worker program or an alternative program to deal with future immigrant workers. While the White House did include a number of new border security measures, Conant reiterated Rubio’s insistence that a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants only go into effect after the border security portion of a bill is implemented. “If passed, the US would likely have millions of new illegal immigrants in the future,” Conant wrote of the Obama proposal.
Rubio earlier bashed the “half baked” White House draft, saying it would be “dead on arrival” if introduced in Congress. Administration officials have said Obama plans to formally propose his preferred bill only if the Senate and House fail to pass their own legislation.