Marking his first major speech outside of D.C. or Florida, Marco Rubio will speak tonight in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Of course, some spectators can't help but make comparisons between Reagan and Rubio (high office aspirations and all), but one group says Cuban-American senator is much farther to the extreme right on one key issue than the conservative icon: Immigration.
"It's sad, but true. When it comes to immigration, Senator Marco Rubio has more in common with Rep. Lamar Smith and Senator Jeff Sessions than he does with President Reagan," says Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America's Voice, in a statement.
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The group cites Rubio's opposition to the DREAM act, support of E-Verify, and stance on border security as anti-immigrant.
In contrast to Rubio and most Republicans, President Reagan promoted an immigration policy approach and a vision for our society where immigrants were made to feel welcome. For example, when President Reagan signed the 1986 immigration bill into law, he said: "The legalization provisions in this act will go far to improve the lives of a class of individuals who now must hide in the shadows, without access to many of the benefits of a free and open society." In his farewell address to the nation, President Reagan referred back to his vision for America as a "shining city upon a hill," noting, "And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get here."
"If Senator Rubio really wants to uphold the Reagan legacy, he should reverse course on immigration and chart his Party toward a more centrist, sensible approach," added Tramonte.