Rubio stands by his support of in-state tuition for undocumented students

Senator Marco Rubio said he stands by a bill he co-sponsored in 2004 to provide in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, saying he supported the bill because of the specific requirements it proposed.

On Sunday, Rubio appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss his run for the White House and his shaky relationship with fellow Senator Ted Cruz. Rubio told host George Stephanopoulos he “absolutely” supports the bill because it required undocumented citizens to graduate from a Florida high school, earn an unspecified minimum GPA, and have been living in the United States for a period of time.

"It was very narrowly tailored to high-performing students who found themselves in a situation where they were brought here by their parents when they were 5, didn't even speak another language except English and, therefore, couldn't attend college because they were being charged like they were from out of state," Rubio said, according to The Washington Post. "They still had to pay for college, but they paid for what people paid when they lived in Florida."

“We didn’t legalize anybody. That’s the issue,” he added.

Rubio said many of the attacks against the legislation have been exaggerated, adding that he also supported one of the largest border control bills in American history.

"I continue to support and have supported and sponsored the largest border surge in American history, 20,000 new border agents, 700 miles of fencing and walls, a mandatory e-verify system, entry-exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays," he said.

Rubio also took the opportunity to knock Cruz’s immigration policies, attacking him for shifting positions based on political “calculation” as the primaries draw near. The two, now second and third in several national polls, have been highly critical of each other over the past month. Rubio attacked his opponent for lacking consistency.

“When it comes to Ted, he has changed his positions on immigration all over the place,” Rubio said. “He used to be for birthright citizenship, now he says he’s against it. He used to be for legalizing people that were here illegally, now he says he’s against it.”

“This is not consistency,” he continued. “This is calculation as he’s changed positions on these issues as we get closer to Election Day.”

Rubio went on to criticize Cruz for supporting Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information. In 2013, Cruz said Snowden had done a “public service” by revealing the NSA was “seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens.”

“I never believed Edward Snowden was a good public servant the way that Ted Cruz once said that he had done a public service for America,” Rubio said. “Edward Snowden is a traitor. We should not have a commander in chief that wants to weaken our intelligence programs.”

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