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Just ahead of the vote, Mr. Rubio took to the Senate floor to defend himself and his bill. He said he is convinced it will secure the borders and prevent another round of illegal immigration.

He said millions of illegal immigrants have been living in the U.S. with little chance of being deported, amounting to a de facto amnesty.

He also said he is bothered by the division with many of his former supporters.

“To hear the worry, anxiety and growing anger in the voices of so many people who helped me get elected to the Senate, who I agree with on virtually every other issue, has been a real trial for me,” he said. “I know they love America, and they are deeply worried about the direction this administration and the political left are trying to take our country.”

Many in the tea party question the political calculations Mr. Rubio and his fellow Gang of Eight members are making.

“I will give you the quote I hear most often, ‘He got to Washington D.C. and drank the Potomac Kool-Aid,’ and he is now regarded with disdain in the tea party community. He is regarded in the same light that we now regard Sen. John McCain,” Mr. Crow said.

Mr. McCain has become a lightning rod for the tea party movement, which grew in 2010 as rejection of the Republican Party’s direction in the decade when George W. Bush was president and then the nomination of Mr. McCain to be its presidential nominee in 2008.

Joseph Pascarella, a former organizer of the Niceville-Valparaiso Tea Party group in Florida, said he was disappointed to see Mr. Rubio palling around with what he called RINOs — Republicans in name only — and nestling “under McCain’s wing.”

Mr. McCain “is not really a conservative,” Mr. Pascarella said. “He doesn’t stand for anything. He is Harry Reid on our side. He goes along to get along.”

The backlash has taken a toll on Mr. Rubio, whose favorability rating in polls has dropped. Mr. Rubio, however, said this “certainly isn’t about gaining support for future office.”