In recent days, Rubio has quietly reached out to a number of immigrant advocates who are usually White House allies but have grown frustrated with some of the president’s policies. Some of the activists say they are open to Rubio’s effort — even though it would stop short of a provision in the Democratic-backed Dream Act to create a path to citizenship — because it would at least provide some relief to people at risk of being deported.
Rubio has not put his plan on paper, but his office describes it as an “alternative” to the Dream Act that would legalize certain young people who came to the United States while they were children. The measure would grant non-immigrant visas so qualified young people could remain in the United States for college or to serve in the military.
The plan puts Obama in a box. Democrats are reluctant to see Rubio’s efforts as anything other than a political gambit to repair his party’s tarnished image with Hispanics and boost his own profile as a potential vice-presidential pick or future White House contender.