Antonio Villaraigosa Says Marco Rubio’s Revised Dream Act Creates “Second Class Status”

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently criticized Marco Rubio’s immigration push and revised version of the Dream Act, which would legalize immigrants to stay in the country who have graduated from high school and hope to obtain a college education or join the military.

The Republican Senator, who is also the son of Cuban exiles, is developing a bill that would allow young undocumented students to remain in the United States to finish their education. Rubio’s proposal would allow those who qualify to apply for residency, but citizenship would be out of the question.

"We have to come up with an immigration system that honors both our legacy as a nation of laws and also our legacy as a nation of immigrants,” said Rubio to the Associated Press. Rubio’s push to develop alternatives for the Dream Act is the sort of immigration reform that the GOP hopes will gain more Latino votes this fall. However, the proposed bill has fallen short among Democrats like Villaraigosa, and the 11 million undocumented immigrants who will be affected by the bill.

While discussing the hot button issue on Face the Nation, Villaraigosa said, “If we were to give these kids a pathway to citizenship, if they went to college or the military, it would add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy.” He adds, "I think that Sen. Rubio's version of the Dream Act would create a second class status for folks."

During the interview, which also included Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Villaraigosa also explained that President Obama has a clear advantage when it comes to understanding the needs of the American people. “The President said that he supports a pathway to citizenship. I think the President is more in tune with the mainstream of America.”

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