WASHINGTON — As several of the senators taking part in a bipartisan effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws appeared on the Sunday talk shows to sound an optimistic note, Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and a member of the group, offered a strongly worded note of caution.
‘‘No agreement on immigration legislation yet,’’ read the headline of a statement released by Rubio’s office Sunday.
‘‘I’m encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers,’’ Rubio said in the statement. ‘‘However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature.’’
Rubio was referring to news reports on Saturday saying the nation’s leading business and labor groups had reached an agreement on a guest worker program for low-skilled workers, an issue that had been among the final sticking points in the overall immigration negotiations among the group of eight senators.
On Saturday, as news of the deal between business and labor broke, Rubio sent a letter to Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warning Leahy not to take up immigration reform with ‘‘excessive haste.’’
Rubio, one of four Republicans in the group, was elected in 2010 as part of a Tea Party wave, and seems determined to emerge from any immigration bargain with his conservative credentials intact.