Schumer: Rubio's fingerprints 'all over' immigration bill with citizenship path
© Greg Nash

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHeatwaves don't lie: Telling the truth about climate change Schumer backing plan to add dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) says Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Senate panel delays Iraq war powers repeal | Study IDs Fort Hood as least-safe base for female soldiers | Pentagon loosens some COVID-19 restrictions Senate panel delays war authorization repeal after GOP push Eliminate family and child poverty: Richard Nixon may help in today's debate MORE's "fingerprints are all over" a 2013 immigration bill with a path to citizenship, highlighting the Florida Republican's ties to a reform effort he has downplayed during his presidential campaign.

"He was not only totally committed, he was in that room with us," Schumer told CNN when asked how committed Rubio was to the "Gang of Eight" immigration effort. "His fingerprints are all over that bill. It has a lot of Rubio imprints."

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Rubio has drawn fire from conservatives for his role in crafting the Senate's 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, a 1,200-page measure that would have put an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship and spent $46 billion to tighten border security.

The bill passed the Senate but died in the House.

Rubio's record on immigration has become fodder his presidential opponents, including Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE, who earlier this year called him "Senator Marco 'amnesty' Rubio." Prominent figures in the conservative media have similarly hammered Rubio for his involvement with the bill.

Since 2013, Rubio's tried to walk a fine line on the issue of immigration, criticizing elements of the Gang of Eight legislation while also saying that he supports reform. 

But Schumer suggested that Rubio didn't resist putting provisions in the legislation that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship — the aspect of the legislation that was denounced by the right.

"He understood it, he molded it, he made it a tough path to citizenship," Schumer, who is expected to be the next Democratic leader, told CNN. "But we all agreed to it, and it would have to be a tough path to citizenship. But he was all for it. "

Progressive groups have attacked Rubio this week for saying that he would end a deferred action program for undocumented immigrants who come to the country as children even if Congress failed to pass immigration reform. 

“It will have to end at some point,” he said after an event in New Hampshire, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

Rubio also recently supported Senate legislation that would crack down on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law, known as sanctuary cities, and increase penalties for undocumented immigrants who reenter the country after being deported.