(Photo/ Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Rubio: Immigration bill still needs improvements

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) continued a pattern of simultaneously criticizing and praising the Gang of Eight bill on Sunday.

Speaking on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Rubio reiterated some of his concerns with the bipartisan bill that he helped author. He said that while most of the bill was in “perfect shape,” he would still insist on tougher border security measures.

“I think it’s an excellent starting point,” Rubio said. “I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in perfect shape and ready to go.  But there are elements that need to be improved.  This is how the legislative process is supposed to work.”

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The Florida Republican called for tougher border security measures and said that the bill needed those provisions in order to pass.

“The only way we are going to pass an immigration reform law out of the House and the Senate so the president can sign it is if it has real border security measures within it,” Rubio said.

However, when asked if he would vote for the bill as it is right now without added border security requirements, Rubio declined to answer.

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“I don’t really want to get involved in these hypotheticals and ultimatums,” he said.

Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, is seen as playing a pivotal role in winning conservative support for the immigration overhaul.

“On virtually every other issue, I agree with many of the folks that right now are just not supportive of the immigration reform bill,” he said, saying he understands “why they are opposed to it.”

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