From a Politico story in March 2010 here which should have put off Republicans on his candidacy but didn't:
A leader for a progressive group that used to heap praise on Rubio says there’s been a clear change in his approach to complex issues. Arturo Vargas, the executive director for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, said Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles born in Miami, blocked “scorched-earth” legislation that sought to clamp down on illegal immigration. “He, as speaker, kept many of those from coming up to a vote,” Vargas said. “We were very proud of his work as speaker of the House.” In 2006, Rubio even voted for a bill that would have allowed the children of illegal immigrants to pay the same tuition rates at Florida colleges as residents.
Vargas now says Rubio, the candidate, takes a more pointed, less nuanced tone as he stresses border enforcement and his opposition to amnesty. “He’s become your typical candidate in terms of playing to his primary election base,” Vargas said, acknowledging he’s more disappointed than surprised.