Rubio on Schumer: Beware of 'political trap'

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accused Sen. Chuck Schumer on Wednesday of setting a “political trap” to implement immigration reform after President Obama leaves office.

USA TODAY asked Rubio for his reaction to Schumer's (D-N.Y.) proposal after he floated the idea on NBC’s “Meet the Press" on Sunday.

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“I don’t think he thought that through. I think it’s something he offered up on the air in order to create a political trap,” Rubio said.

Schumer and Rubio were members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight that crafted the immigration reform bill the upper chamber passed in a 68-32 vote last June. 

"Many Republicans have said … they want to do immigration reform, but they don't trust the president to enforce the law, particularly the enforcement parts," Schumer said on Sunday. "So there's a simple solution. Let's enact the law this year, but simply not let it actually start 'til 2017 — after President Obama's term is over."

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Schumer's comment came just days after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the GOP doesn’t trust Obama with implementing the law as it was originally intended.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Schumer’s plan was an admission that the Obama administration has become an obstacle on the issue.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) endorsed Schumer’s idea on Wednesday.

“That’s really what was going to happen anyway. Why? Because if the president were to sign the bill tomorrow, it would take over two years between the signing of the bill and the moment any benefit [would happen] … I think it’s a good deal because it was what it was going to happen anyway,” he said on C-SPAN. 

Despite working on the Senate-passed comprehensive bill that would have overhauled the immigration system, Rubio suggested the Republicans’ piecemeal approach might be more effective.  

“This idea that you either pass one big massive bill or nothing at all, this all-or-nothing approach is going to lead us right back to where we’ve been for 12 years. Nothing,” Rubio said. “All-or-nothing will lead to nothing."

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