As the debate over whether the 14th amendment should be changed to deny the American-born children of undocumented immigrants citizenship has dragged on over the past few weeks, Florida senatorial candidate and tea party darling, Marco Rubio (R), has remained curiously silent — until today. Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel reports that he received an email from Rubio’s campaign aide, Alex Burgos, confirming Rubio’s opposition to changing the 14th amendment:
I noted that this is putting Senate candidate Marco Rubio in a pickle. The crusade against illegal immigration is interpreted by many Hispanics as a crusade against Hispanics. It has resulted in a shift of Hispanic voters to the Democratic Party. Here is a story about the impact in Florida. The press has been pressing Rubio to come out with a position since last week, particularly since Charlie Crist came out strongly against tinkering with the amendment. I wrote that Rubio’s failure to come out against changes could let Crist outflank him with Hispanic voters.
Rubio’s campaign aide, Alex Burgos, has sent me an e-mail saying Rubio also does not favor altering the amendment. But there is no press release or official statement. So it’s not like Rubio is shouting it from the rooftops. “He simply doesn’t support changes and believes we should focus on securing the border and enforcing existing laws,” Burgo said.
As Thomas notes, Rubio — the son of Cuban immigrants — hasn’t exactly taken a strong position against the GOP’s attack on the 14th amendment. His opponents, however, have. According to Florida senatorial candidate Jeff Greene (D), “if you’re born here, you’re a citizen.” Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek similarly stated, “Yes, you could definitely say I’m opposed” to changing the 14th amendment. Rubio’s biggest foe, current Gov. Charlie Crist (I), has been firm in his opposition, stating “That would be unconscionable to me. [...] The 14th Amendment ought to stay the way it is. If someone is born in the United States of America, you are an American. That is a tradition of our country. That’s the way it should always be, that’s the way it’s always been. And that’s what America is all about.”