IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Marco Rubio: Hispanics 'deeply impacted' by illegal immigration

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks about immigration and rival Jeb Bush.
/ Source: TODAY

Hours after Republican presidential candidates sparred over how to control illegal immigration, Sen. Marco Rubio insisted that Hispanics want the problem fixed just as much as reform proponents.

“This belief that the Hispanic community is in favor of illegal immigration is false. It’s just not true,” he said Wednesday on TODAY. “Hispanic communities are deeply impacted by illegal immigration."

Rubio said millions of Hispanics arrived in the nation legally, or have loved ones waiting to arrive legally.

"We are a sovereign country. We are entitled to control who comes here, how they come here and when they come here,” he said. "I think all Americans want to see our immigration system work better. We want to be realistic, but responsible, about what to do with those who are here illegally."

He added that the U.S. "has to bring illegal immigration under control."

RELATED: Marco Rubio says ‘I still have tremendous admiration’ for Jeb Bush after GOP debate

Rubio also downplayed a New York Times article about reports that allies of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign are planning a massive attack against him.

“Obviously, if we’re attacked, we’re going to respond,” Rubio said, but added it won’t change his campaign's current strategy.

“I think there a lot of people that are turned off by that kind of attack," he said.