Marco Rubio’s Dream Act alternative a challenge for Obama on illegal immigration

The Washington Post, 4/25/12

Gaby Pacheco, a vocal immigrant activist, accepted a tantalizing invitation last week from an unlikely source: Republican Sen. Marco Rubiowanted her to help craft a bill that could legalize the children of some illegal immigrants.

Two hours later, Pacheco and other activists got a different pitch from their more familiar White House allies. Be wary of Rubio and his plan, two of President Obama’s top advisers told them in a meeting. It wouldn’t go far enough and wasn’t likely to succeed. The group was polite but noncommittal. “We’re not married to the Democratic or Republican parties,” said Pacheco, 27. “We’re going to push what’s best for the community.”

The events of that day illustrated how the new effort by Rubio (Fla.) has upended the immigration debate in Washington, exposing tensions in both parties as Obama and the GOP assess how the issue might sway the crucial Hispanic vote in November.

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