Rubio: Don’t Deport Law-Abiding Illegal Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for a long time without committing felonies should be allowed to stay, Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio proposed Sunday.

Newsmax reported that the Florida senator was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about the challenge of deporting all of the estimated 12 million foreigners who are living in the country illegally.

“If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay,” Rubio explained. “If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay.” When NBC host Chuck Todd asked for a definition of “criminal alien,” the candidate replied: “A felon; someone who’s committed a crime; a non-immigration related – obviously – and that’s what I've talked about in the past. So I don’t think you’ll round up and deport 12 million people.”

Newsmax noted that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who also is seeking the Republican nomination, has criticized Rubio for supporting immigration-reform legislation known as the Gang of Eight in 2013.

Rubio, acknowledging he has altered his stance on the issue, said: “If circumstances change or you learn something along the way, it’s reasonable to say, ‘Maybe a different approach will work better.’ So, for example, on immigration it is clear no comprehensive solution to immigration is going to pass.”

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