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Rubio: Arizona Immigration Bill 'Concerns' Me

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Arizona's tough new immigration law has created a variety of headaches for the national Republican Party, which recognizes its precarious standing with the Hispanic community but has traditionally supported enhanced law enforcement intervention.

Perhaps no major Republican figure is more challenged by the law than Marco Rubio, the upstart Senatorial candidate in Florida who is a descendant of immigrants but also the belle of the ball in conservative circles. In a statement offered on Tuesday, the former Florida House Speaker, who has been pressed in recent days to make his position known, came down against the statute. While saying he understood why -- in the absence of national action on immigration -- Arizona went forward with its bill, Rubio said the bill caused "concerns" and suggested it could lead to racial profiling.

"From what I have read in news reports, I do have concerns about this legislation," Rubio said. "While I don't believe Arizona's policy was based on anything other than trying to get a handle on our broken borders, I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with 'reasonable suspicion,' are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens."

Here is Rubio's statement in full:

"Our legal immigration system must continue to welcome those who seek to embrace America's blessings and abide by the legal and orderly system that is in place. The American people have every right to expect the federal government to secure our borders and prevent illegal immigration. It has become all too easy for some in Washington to ignore the desperation and urgency of those like the citizens of Arizona who are disproportionately wrestling with this problem as well as the violence, drug trafficking and lawlessness that spills over from across the border.

"States certainly have the right to enact policies to protect their citizens, but Arizona's policy shows the difficulty and limitations of states trying to act piecemeal to solve what is a serious federal problem. From what I have read in news reports, I do have concerns about this legislation. While I don't believe Arizona's policy was based on anything other than trying to get a handle on our broken borders, I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with 'reasonable suspicion,' are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens. Throughout American history and throughout this administration we have seen that when government is given an inch it takes a mile.

"I hope Congress and the Obama Administration will use the Arizona legislation not as an excuse to try and jam through amnesty legislation, but to finally act on border states' requests for help with security and fix the things about our immigration system that can be fixed right now - securing the border, reforming the visa and entry process, and cracking down on employers who exploit illegal immigrants."

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Marco Rubio: Arizona immigration law goes too far.

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