WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) attacked President Barack Obama's new immigration policy on Sunday, claiming that the new standard, which grants certain young undocumented immigrants a reprieve from deportation, "injects politics" into the debate over immigration.
"It's a short-term fix for a long-term problem," Rubio said on "NBC's Meet The Press." "The issue has been politicized by the president."
Immigration has been a deeply political issue for years. Leading Republican politicians have repeatedly proposed immigration reforms, only to withdraw their comments and proposals amid heated charges of "amnesty" from conservative activists.
Rubio has long supported an immigration policy very similar to Obama's, which provides people who came to the United States at a very young age with a path to legal status, but not citizenship. He did not offer alternatives to the administration's policy during his appearance Sunday.
When asked about the Supreme Court's pending ruling on Arizona's controversial immigration law, Rubio said he does not believe the law should be used as a model for other states. He did, however, say he believes the state has a constitutional right to set its own policy.
That issue -- whether state and local governments should be allowed to pass criminal laws governing the enforcement of a civil federal standard -- is at the heart of the Supreme Court case.
Rubio refused to answer any questions about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's search for a running mate. Romney has said Rubio is being thoroughly vetted for a potential spot on the ticket.
"I'm not discussing the vice presidential process anymore," Rubio said.