(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's surprise decision to halt U.S. deportations of young illegal immigrants has all but killed a Republican effort to fashion legislation that could have won political points with Hispanic voters in November's elections.
Republican Senators, including Marco Rubio, had been working behind the scenes for months on a bill that would have allowed some children of illegal immigrants a chance to stay in the United States legally while pursuing college or military careers.
But Obama's announcement has effectively made the Rubio plan moot, further complicating Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's search for an immigration policy.
"We're re-evaluating our next steps" for the legislation, said Alex Conant, a Rubio spokesman.
"I think the new reality is that it's unlikely to pass this year because the politics on both sides have gotten a lot tougher and the urgency to pass something this summer ... has now been removed" by Obama's action, he said.