As The Son Of Immigrants Rises, Immigration Takes A Back Seat

Published on Nov 05 2015, at 6:05 pm

Marco Rubio on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Nov. 5, 2015. (Twitter image)

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 6, 2015: A new Monmouth University poll released Monday shows that Cuban-American Republican Presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, has tripled his support since September.

He is now the lone candidate with Hispanic roots at the top of the Republican list of Presidential hopefuls – bested only by Donald Trump and the lone African-American contender, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Trump is leading this GOP New Hampshire primary poll with 26 percent of the votes, says Monmouth. Carson is at 16 percent and Rubio is in third place at 13 percent.

That’s a rise from 4 percent from the last poll, which means that Rubio’s message is resonating with some of the GOP base.

The news came on the same day the Rubio campaign released a new video. In it, the Florida senator hints at his immigrant roots – his father Mario Rubio Reina and mother Oriales (née Garcia) Rubio were both immigrants from Cuba who immigrated to the United States in 1956, prior to the rise of Fidel Castro in January 1959.

“America is literally the place that changed my family’s history,”
Rubio says to a roomful of supporters in the video. “My father stood behind a small portable bar in the back of a room … so that tonight I can stand behind this podium in front of this room and this nation.”

But try looking for immigration as an issue on Rubio’s campaign website and you maybe sorely disappointed. There are lots of issues there and policy plans including on China and Israel, but nada on immigration reform.

No doubt it was purposely left in the “back of the room,” like that bar where his Cuban immigrant father toiled behind.

Why? Because in an effort to win political votes with the Conservative right wing base, Rubio has chosen to forget his immigrant roots, his push for immigration reform and move from center to far right.

Last week, after missing several votes in his job as a senator, he returned to D.C. to ensure he noted in favor of The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

Dubbed the “Trump Act” by many, this controversial bill would take away federal law enforcement money from cities that do not detain undocumented immigrants.

It was a clearly political move by Rubio, aimed to show to any of the right wing base that he is tough on immigration despite his leadership in the Senate that led to the passage of a comprehensive immigration bill.

Thankfully the bill failed to pass in the Senate.

But Rubio showed that like John McCain before him, he can easily flip flop; shove his support for comprehensive immigration reform into the ocean his family crossed to get here and instead tout the GOP Conservative plan – enforcement first.

This despite the immigrant history lesson Rubio is so quick to hypocritically peddle.

It’s a move that may help him in the Primary but cost him dearly in the general if by some miracle he succeeds in making history and becoming the first Latino roots candidate to be the Republican Presidential nominee.

Immigration advocates who were Rubio’s allies just two years ago are already threatening electoral retribution. His current flip-flop means his Latino heritage which should help will hurt and sadly he will fail miserably to be the history and difference maker that he certainly can be!

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.


Leave a comment