The two, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have good changes to catch up with Donald Trump in the GOP nomination race, but the discrepancy between them when it comes to future plans for the country is too big, says Daily Journal, especially when the talks are about the immigration issue.
The issue was discussed ever since 2013
It looks like the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill is causing all this friction between Marco Rubio and Cruz. According to the same source, the bill passed the Senate after a series of votes in June, 2013 and Democrats, who controlled the Senate at the time, supported the bill, while most Republicans opposed it.
There were four Republicans in the same boat with the Democrats: Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Jeff Flake, and their plan was to ruin almost all GOP amendments.
Marco Rubio rejected Senator Grassley’s proposal
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley proposed that legalization of illegal immigrants in the United States to take effect after the administration could prove it had maintained “effective control” of the borders for six months. No surprise that Cruz supported the bill, while Marco Rubio rejected the Grassley amendment.
Sen. John Thune wanted that an old idea, 350 miles of fencing along the U.S. border, should be done before legalization could commence. He also claimed that 700 miles of such fencing is necessary before illegal immigrants’ legal status could be made permanent, says Daily Journal. Of course, Marco Rubio disproved the bill. His fellow Cuban rival wanted the Thune amendment to pass.
The two had another proposal to fight about. Sen. David Vitter wanted a biometric visa identity system first ordered by Congress in 1996 to be “fully implemented at every land, sea, and airport of entry” into the United States. Struggling to ensure immigrants some rights, Marco Rubio rejected the bill.
“The eight met in private before each committee hearing, hashing out which amendments they would support and which oppose as a united coalition. Senate aides said amendments were rejected if either side felt they would shatter the deal.”, the Washington Post reported in May, 2013.
A Republican reached an agreement with the Democrats
The Rubio-Democrats agreement wasn’t secret for too long. At a Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Schumer left his microphone on and he was heared saying “Do our Republicans have a pass on this one, if they want?”. Rubio wasn’t present at that meeting, but he was part of the Gang agreement to kill GOP amendments, several of which were from Cruz, who was on the committee, claims the same source.
“The bottom line is there isn’t that big a difference between (Cruz) and I on how to approach immigration,” Rubio told CBS News recently. This statement comes in quite contradiction with facts. But Rubio has since 2013 distanced himself from the Gang bill, saying that the immigration issue cannot be resolved by one giant bill, and that his position on immigration is similar to Cruz’s, according to Daily Journal.