Marco Rubio has taken a lot of heat for his work with Chuck Schumer and the Gang of Eight, so it’s a bit surprising that only this morning he’s arguing that illegal aliens can stay in the U.S. as long as they are not felons, specifically excluding the violation of our immigration laws.

Politico reports:

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 contender for the Republican presidential nomination said felons shouldn’t be allowed to stay, but those who commit lesser crimes could still qualify. In this interview, he didn’t specify whether those 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.”

The DC Caller has more:

Todd then asked Rubio, “Let me ask you on the 11 million [illegal immigrants already in America], are you still for finding a way for them to legally stay in the United States?”

“Yeah, look, 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. I do believe we have to have a reasonable solution,” Rubio claimed.

When asked to “define “criminal alien,” Rubio said, “A felon, someone who commits a non-immigration related [crime]” ceding to Todd that the illegal immigrant committed a felony to enter the United States illegally. Rubio said that a crime “other than the immigration law” would be grounds for deportation.

Watch:

As he goes on to explain, he is standing by his new position that in light of recent facts regarding ISIS and the general mistrust of government among Americans, he believes that the border must be closed and good faith shown before further action can be taken.

Rubio posted a short video on Twitter explaining his new stance on illegal immigration.