Strange New Respect in NYTimes for GOP Pro-Immigration Reformer Sen. Marco Rubio, a 'Star...Rising Rapidly'

January 16th, 2013 4:03 PM

The New York Times continued to push its pet cause of immigration "reform," involving mass amnesty for illegals in the United States. In a twist, immigration reporter Julia Preston reported Tuesday on amnesty GOP-style, featuring the views of Fla. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio: "Rubio Pushes His Party On Immigration Changes."

Rubio's favorable coverage (his "star is rising rapidly in his party") certainly marks a change from the paper's usual cool approach to Republican policymakers and policy. Could it be because Rubio stand on immigration hews more closely to the paper's editorial line that most GOP senators?

As President Obama and Democratic leaders are preparing a major push to overhaul the immigration system, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is asserting his leadership among Republicans on the volatile issue, previewing a proposal that includes measures to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Mr. Rubio, a Cuban-American in his first term whose star is rising rapidly in his party, has outlined views in recent days that set him apart from many other Republican conservatives, who reject any legalization as a form of amnesty that rewards immigrant lawbreakers. Mr. Rubio said he would not rule out some kind of legal status for immigrants in the United States illegally, although he insists that any measures should not penalize immigrants who have tried to come here through legal channels.

Mr. Rubio described his proposals in interviews last week with The Wall Street Journal editorial page and with The New York Times. By Monday he was already gathering support, as Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a conservative who was the Republicans’ vice-presidential nominee last year, endorsed Mr. Rubio’s ideas.

Mr. Rubio laid out three: aside from fair treatment for foreigners who play by the rules, he said, any legislation should also recognize that legal immigration has been a boon to the United States in the past and is “critical to our future.” He would also insist on new measures to ensure strict enforcement at the border and within the country.

There were no "liberal" labels for pro-amnesty groups like United We Dream, but Preston used the "conservative" label three times, including at the end:

Some conservative Republicans made it clear they would not support Mr. Rubio. In a statement, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said Mr. Obama had undercut the chances for an overhaul by weakening enforcement. “If the administration had spent the last four years ending illegality instead of abetting it,” he said, “we would be in a better position for some kind of agreement.”

Immigration activist Mark Krikorian at National Review also dissented from Rubio: "...the specific policies Rubio is selling are just the same old, same old: 'earned' amnesty for illegal aliens plus de facto unlimited immigration, in exchange for promises to some day implement E-Verify and build more fencing....