Marco Rubio is not Cuban. He is not even an immigrant. Prove it. I want to see his Cuban birth certificate. I have a Cuban birth certificate so I can authenticate his. Mine reads Certificación De Nacimiento. His reads Certificate of Birth. There is a big difference. Rubio was born in Miami making him American by birth. For foreign-born Latinos like me being American is a gift.
Marco Rubio did not go through the immigrant rite of passage. He has not been an outsider. He has not had to struggle with a new language and unfamiliar customs. I doubt that he has ever gotten those unfriendly and distrustful stares. His parents are Cuban immigrants. He is not, and it shows.
Immigration reform is at the top of the “to do” list for the bulk of Latinos in the U.S. What is most appalling to many Latinos is Rubio’s lack of support for the DREAM Act and timely immigration reform. Rubio said, “Immigration is an important issue, and it should be tackled and dealt with, but right now it’s not more important than the price of gas or the lack of jobs or the crushing debt.”
Many Latinos would disagree with Rubio’s policy priorities. We cannot do much about the price of gas and rebuilding the economy will take time. However, immigration reform can quickly and concretely improve the lives of thousands of children. How is it possible that the son of Cuban immigrants does not fully appreciate the daily reality of children whose lives in the U.S. are in limbo because their parents brought them here illegally? Under what moral code do we hold children accountable for the transgressions of their parents?
Rubio is Latino-lite, and maybe not Latino at all. He is primarily a conservative politician who wants to get re-elected. It is merely a coincidence that he has a Latino heritage. Rubio would certainly obtain the votes of Cubans, but it is difficult to see him appealing to the other 96.5 percent of Latinos. Maybe it would be good for Rubio to run as a vice presidential candidate. It would highlight the political, and cultural, differences among the myriad of Latino groups. It would also help to show that Latinos will assimilate into American society when given the opportunity.
Ultimately, that the Republican Party considers Rubio their Latino secret weapon shows just how detached the Republicans are from the bulk of Latinos, and the vast majority of immigrants.
By guest contributor, Orlando Rodriguez.