Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he does not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation.
The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at the University of Phoenix/National Journal's Next America forum in Washington, is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.
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Rubio said he understood why frustration with illegal immigration led Arizona to pass a law allowing police to demand proof of citizenship. He also disagreed with the Obama administration’s contention that the law is unconstitutional. But he added, “I do not believe [laws like the one in Arizona] should be a model for the country.’’
As a Senate candidate in 2010, Rubio vacillated on the Arizona law. He initially expressed some concerns but later said he would have voted for it.