Sen. Marco Rubio is among the senators being recognized by a bipartisan Latino group for hammering out a comprehensive immigration bill that he now opposes.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is giving the award named for its founder Edward R. Roybal to the "Gang of 8" who crafted the comprehensive immigraiton bill at its Feb. 12 gala. Rubio, R-Fla., won't be at the gala because of a scheduling conflict, said spokesman Alex Burgos. He is sending a video message and the award will be dropped by his office, Burgos said.
The Senate passed the comprehensive immigration bill 68-32 last June. Rubio was one of the Republican architects of the bill and voted for it.
In October, he backed away from his bill and endorsed the House plan to pass a string of bills and said there the House should not go to conference on the Senate bill.
Arturo Vargas, NALEO's executive director, said the award is for work that was done. "He has had a change of perspective but we are not honoring him for what he is thinking about his bill today," Vargas said.
It's the second time Rubio has received the award. The last time he was honored was for stopping anti-immigration legislation while serving as Florida's House speaker, Vargas said.