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December 18, 2015 5:05 am

Rubio and Cruz Clash Over Immigration Policies

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Senators Ted Cruz (right) and Marco Rubio. Photo: Getty Images/Wikipedia.

Senators Ted Cruz (right) and Marco Rubio. Photo: Getty Images/Wikipedia.

AP – More than any other issue, immigration is driving the rivalry between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, presidential rivals focusing on the divisive topic in their closing messages to Republican voters before the sprint to the Iowa caucuses.

Cruz, a Texas senator and tea party firebrand, sees Rubio’s support for a more forgiving immigration policy as his greatest vulnerability among conservatives who overwhelmingly oppose a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally. Rubio, a Florida senator, sees Cruz’s shifting rhetoric on immigration as a prime example of a larger pattern of political pandering.

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