Rubio backs Cruz on tougher penalties for illegal immigrants
© Getty Images
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Under Cruz's legislation, undocumented immigrants face additional prison time if they reenter the country after being deported, including a minimum five-year sentence if they were previously convicted of an aggravated felony or of illegally reentering the country twice. 
 
The Texas Republican is expected to come to the Senate floor next week to try to pass the legislation — which is referred to as Kate's Law after Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had already been deported five times. 
 
 
Democrats, however, blocked a bill from Vitter Tuesday that included similar language as part of a broader bill crackdown on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law. 
 
Rubio called the vote "outrageous." 
 
"No one involved in this debate understands this issue better than I do," Rubio told Newsmax TV's "The Hard Line." "I understand immigration, the good, the bad and the ugly, but this part is not good — this part about people who are openly violating our laws." 
 
Rubio has received skepticism from conservatives over his role in a 2013 immigration reform proposal, which he has since distanced himself from.