U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday slammed President Joe Biden’s talks with authorities officers of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, referred to as his reelection opponent a candidate “handpicked” by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and mentioned the chances of passing immigration reform are “not possible” below the Biden administration.
“It’s not possible — and I say it with all sincerity — it’s not possible to do completely something about immigration whereas this emergency we have now proper now continues to exist,” Rubio mentioned throughout a marketing campaign occasion with supporters at a Doral restaurant.
He cited the anticipated uptick in migrants exhibiting up on the Southern U.S. border following the Biden administration’s newest transfer to finish Title 42, a Trump-era COVID coverage that allowed federal authorities to swiftly deport migrants.
“We’re speaking about the truth that in per week, we’re going to have extra individuals than those that got here by means of the Mariel [boatlift],” he mentioned.
Rubio spoke to Venezuelan supporters as he campaigns for reelection in opposition to U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat. He by no means talked about her immediately by identify, however referenced Demings to say that, if she have been elected to the Senate, her first vote could be to “vote for Schumer” to be the Senate chief. He additionally accused Demings of solely talking about Venezuela after saying her run for the Senate.
Christian Slater, communications director for Demings’ marketing campaign, responded to the criticism by countering that Rubio “refuses to permit Venezuelans fleeing Maduro’s regime to construct a steady life within the U.S.”
“Marco Rubio is simply one other weak politician launching determined assaults as a result of he turned his again on the Venezuelan group, placing his political bosses forward of doing what’s proper for Floridians,” the assertion learn.
Rubio targeted a lot of his look at Il Forno Ristorante on attacking the Biden administration’s insurance policies towards Latin America. He singled out Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan and the Nationwide Safety Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, Juan González, whom he accused of pursuing engagement with socialist regimes.
“They’re sympathizers of opening relations with Cuba, Venezuela, and in the event that they’re allowed, with Nicaragua, too,” Rubio mentioned. “And this doesn’t finish with Venezuela. They’re targeted now on Colombia. Their dream is that Colombia adjustments now, too. That Colombia additionally switches.”
This week, Democrats slammed Rubio over his opposition to a path to citizenship for Venezuelans within the U.S., who have been granted Non permanent Protected Standing by President Biden final 12 months. Throughout a name on Thursday, some leaders of the Venezuelan group mentioned they resented Rubio’s rhetoric on Venezuela as a result of he hasn’t brazenly supported immigration reform. Earlier this week, Rubio signed a letter with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, urging Biden to increase TPS advantages for Venezuelans, which embrace permission to reside and work within the U.S. with out the specter of deportation.
“We aren’t shopping for it, we’re not going to be props once more in his political recreation,” mentioned Ade Ferro, govt director of the Venezuelan American Caucus, a Florida-based political group that advocates for Venezuelans to turn into extra concerned within the civic course of.
William Diaz, founding father of Casa de Venezuela in Orlando and a former supporter of Sen. Rick Scott, mentioned he was disillusioned by Rubio when it got here to causes that will assist his group.
“I wish to ask Mr. Rubio why he didn’t assist HR6,” mentioned Diaz, referring to the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which has stalled within the Senate. “We’re not going to maintain taking part in the sport that he’s been taking part in with the Cuban group in South Florida. … The identical issues we’re asking for individuals is similar issues that your loved ones benefited from.”
Requested concerning the criticism, Rubio dismissed it as bad-faith partisan assaults.
“These are Democrat teams which might be extra Democrats than they’re Venezuelan, which were Democrats earlier than and they’re going to proceed being Democrats after … and so they need to flip the subject of Venezuela into an immigration challenge,” he mentioned.
He mentioned that whereas he helps TPS for Venezuelans, he didn’t need to incentivize unlawful migration by extending eligibility to Venezuelans who’ve arrived after the March 8, 2021, cutoff date. Requested if he would assist an immigration reform invoice just like the one filed by U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, the DIGNITY Act, Rubio mentioned he hasn’t learn it.
“I feel every thing is feasible, particularly if — God forbid — Venezuela turns into what Cuba has been for greater than 60 years,” he mentioned.
This story was initially printed April 8, 2022 5:08 PM.