The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Rubio spokesman compares plight of illegal immigrants to slavery

The battle within the Republican Party over the so-called Gang of Eight’s 844-page immigration bill has often been contentious, but in recent days it has escalated.

Despite his plea for cooler heads to prevail in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last, Alex Conant, press secretary for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, likened the current plight of illegal immigrants to that of slaves in 19th century America.

Conant made his remarks in a Twitter argument with the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll, who accused the Florida Republican of “selling lies.” Conant replied by asking Carroll for suggestions.

After Carroll suggested scrapping a proposed assimilation bureau, cutting grants to leftist groups and other changes, Conant rebutted those suggestions by saying Americans have not “had a cohort of people living permanently in US without full rights of citizenship since slavery.”

Exchange as follows:

Conant has yet to respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

UPDATE — Conant responds with statement on Monday at 8:55 am ET:

“I regret evoking slavery in the context of the current debate because obviously there’s no comparison between the plight of slaves and today’s illegal immigrants. The point I was trying to make (in 140 characters) is that allowing immigrants to apply for permanent residence, but not eventually be able to apply for the full benefits of citizenship, has been tried and failed, and has had disastrous social consequences in Europe today.”

(h/t A.J. Delgado, Mediaite)

Follow Jeff on Twitter