Sen. Marco Rubio says people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally but haven’t committed any major crimes could be allowed to stay.
In an interview airing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Florida Republican contender for the presidency said felons shouldn’t be allowed to stay, but those who commit lesser crimes could still qualify. He didn’t specify if the people allowed to stay would ever be able to become citizens.
“If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay. If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay,” he said. “I don’t think you’re gonna round up and deport 12 million people.”
Rubio’s somewhat fluid position on immigration has been a target for his opponents because he was part of the Gang of Eight lawmakers who worked on the 2013 immigration reform bill, which included a path to citizenship.