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While they praise Rubio's initial intent, the editors are basically announcing they have given up on Rubio, stating "... conservatives looked hopefully to Rubio has their representative on the Gang of Eight, someone who would make sure its plan didn't turn out to be a call for de facto open borders. Early on, Rubio may well have seen that as his role. But he is now much less the conservative ambassador to the Gang of Eight than the Gang's ambassador to conservatives."

See this where the National Review mocked Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record Graham: There are 'no good choices left' with North Korea Graham: North Korea shouldn't underestimate Trump MORE (R-S.C.) for the bill last week. And see here   where National Review mocked Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain: China has done ‘nothing’ on North Korea Trump administration weighing order to withdraw from NAFTA Graham: There are 'no good choices left' with North Korea MORE (R-Ariz.) as lost in a "fantasy" for the idea that Latino voters would ever become Republicans. "Low income households headed by single mothers and dependent on some form of welfare are not looking for an excuse to join forces with Paul RyanPaul RyanNot too shabby: Trump tax plan nails corporate rate, errs on income Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's tax plan | White House mulls order pulling out of NAFTA | New fight over Dodd-Frank begins Overnight Healthcare: GOP takes step forward on ObamaCare bill | WH to keep paying insurer subsidies MORE and Pat Toomey," was one of the standout sentences from its op-ed titled "A Pointless Amnesty." Note for the record that Ryan is on board and pushing reform hard on the House side.

Meanwhile, Rubio is out with his own push today in The Wall Street Journal in which he acknowledges numerous times how many critics have identified shortcomings and loopholes in his bill and made it stronger. He even outlines how many more changes he believes the bill could and should receive when it is marked up next week. But he warns critics of reform will never support it and will introduce new concerns for every one reformers attempt to satisfy. "They have a long list of complaints but typically they never offer a solution of their own," Rubio wrote.

As I noted in my column last week, the immigration firing squad is just getting started, and they will save their fiercest fire power for the end. They want security first and reform later — never at the same time. Any bill that couples them both is a target, no matter how many improvements are made.

CAN EXPANDED BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR GUNS PASS THIS YEAR? AskAB returns Tuesday, May 7. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.