Rubio Won’t Support Immigration Bill He Helped Craft If Changes Are Not Made

Yesterday Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the members of the Gang of Eight bipartisan group formed to tackle immigration reform, told radio host Hugh Hewitt that if certain amendments are not added to the final immigration bill that will hit the floor of the Senate for a full vote, he will not support the bill, a bill Rubio helped craft: “Well, I think if those amendments don’t pass, then I think we’ve got a bill that isn’t going to become law, and I think we’re wasting our time. So the answer is no.” However, Rubio also told Hewitt that he believes the bill will pass.

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You can read the context of Rubio’s remarks in the following transcript excerpt here:

HH: I begin with United States Senator Marco Rubio from the great state of Florida. Senator, welcome back, it’s good to speak with you.
MR: Hugh, thanks for having me back.
HH: Earlier today on Fox, you told the audience that there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for immigration reform. That’s big news. The second news, though, is are you going to offer amendments that you think will gather in enough votes?
MR: Well, let me first say that the news of what I said today on Fox about there not being the 60 votes, actually, Senator Menendez of New Jersey, a Democrat, said the same thing last week. And that’s a fact. And the reason why is because while there’s a group, well, the majority of our colleagues are prepared to do immigration reform, they’re only prepared to do it if we ensure that this illegal immigration problem never happens again. And so there’s a handful of Democrats, and a sizeable number of Republicans that are saying to us we’re prepared to do immigration reform, but we have to make sure there isn’t another wave of illegal immigration. So for those who want immigration reform, the task is very simple. Let’s strengthen the border security parts of this bill so that they’re stronger, so that they don’t give overwhelming discretion to the Department of Homeland Security, and I think if we can do that, then you’re going to be able to get something done. But if you can’t, it’s not going to happen.
HH: And will you be the author of those amendments?
MR: We’re working on it right now. A lot of other…I’ll be involved in it for sure. I think there are other senators that have taken the lead, and I’ll let them kind of come out in the next couple of days with their specific ideas. But we’ve been involved on a daily basis working with them to get to the right point in terms of real measures. And what we’ve heard is people don’t want to just turn it over to the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a plan. They want the plan to be laid out specifically with real measurable, and I think that that’s a good approach. And so we’re working with members now to do that. And we expect to hear from them here in the next couple of days.
HH: If those amendments don’t pass, will you yourself support the bill that emerged from Judiciary, Senator Rubio?
MR: Well, I think if those amendments don’t pass, then I think we’ve got a bill that isn’t going to become law, and I think we’re wasting our time. So the answer is no. If they don’t pass, then we’ve got to keep working to ensure that we get to a bill that can become a law. We’re not interested in passing a Senate bill. We’re interested in passing a law that reforms a broken legal immigration system, that begins to enforce the law, and that deals with the 11 million people who are here illegally. And that’s the goal of this endeavor. And so if those amendments fail, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and keep working until we can figure out one that will pass. But I don’t understand why anyone would be against it, as such, I don’t think there is a good reason to be against strengthening border security for our country.

The full transcript can be found on Hewitt’s site.

Rubio Statement: News of Gang of Eight’s Immigration Deal is “Premature”

Here is what Florida Senator Marco Rubio issued this morning in response to the news that major progress has been made on a comprehensive immigration bill:

Marco Rubio

I’m encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers. However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature.

We have made substantial progress, and I believe we will be able to agree on a legislative proposal that modernizes our legal immigration system, improves border security and enforcement and allows those here illegally to earn the chance to one day apply for permanent residency contingent upon certain triggers being met. However, that legislation will only be a starting point.

We will need a healthy public debate that includes committee hearings and the opportunity for other senators to improve our legislation with their own amendments. Eight senators from seven states have worked on this bill to serve as a starting point for discussion about fixing our broken immigration system. But arriving at a final product will require it to be properly submitted for the American people’s consideration, through the other 92 senators from 43 states that weren’t part of this initial drafting process. In order to succeed, this process cannot be rushed or done in secret.

VIDEO: Kentucky Dream Coalition Organizes Speak-Out at Rubio’s Louisville Appearance

We got the following video from Liberation Frequency.

dream7

Here is what the LF reported:

Florida Senator Marco Rubio was invited to speak at the University of Louisville’s School of Music on March,25 2013. The Kentucky Dream Coalition took advantage of the oppurtunity to organize a speak out where undocumented immigrants could share their stories and allies could share their support. The university did not allow them to protest in front of the building, and changed the location of the “free speech zone” several times, ultimately forcing the event to be held across the street from the building. Police officers from several precincts were present and monitoring the event.

Music by J Dilla (Stop) and Circa 95 (All We Need)

Conservative Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby Thinks Spanish Is Killing American Unity

Yes, familia, even opinion writers in blue state Massachusetts show their cultural ignorance once in a while. Take the case of The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby, a conservative columnist who today penned the following opinion piece, “Americans speak every language, but only English unites us.”

The column focuses on Gabriel Gómez, a second-generation Colombian American and former Navy SEAL who is running in the Massachusetts GOP primary for Senate. Apparently Jacoby had an issue with Gómez kicking off his campaign in Spanish, instead of English. Sure, Jacoby praises Gómez for his bilingual skills, it’s the whole Spanish part that bothers him. It just felt so unAmerican. Just like when Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave his response to the State of the Union in both English and Spanish. Gasp.

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Jacoby’s main argument is this one (FYI: I wanted so badly to add an accent to the “o” in Gómez in the following excerpt, but I was afraid that Jacoby would report me to the authorities):

But if that’s the case, why didn’t Republicans arrange for a full-blown response to the State of the Union address in Chinese or French or Vietnamese? Why hasn’t Gomez made a point of introducing himself in Portuguese or Italian or Russian? Spanish may be the second-most common language spoken in the United States, but there are dozens of other languages used daily by millions of American voters. Don’t those voters also need to be reassured that we’re all “part of the same community”?

English has always been integral to the American identity. Without a common language, the miracle of E Pluribus Unum would never have been possible. Americans come from every corner of the globe; they represent a vast array of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic traditions. Yet they have been able, by and large, to form a single nation — to mold an American mainstream, despite such a hodgepodge of incompatible origins. They couldn’t have done it without a commitment to English as the national tongue.

After using the example of Doral, Florida, rejecting a measure to become an official bilingual city as his definitive “proof” that elevating Spanish to the same level as English is just wrong and bad for America, Jacoby closed with this: “Spanish is a beautiful language. But pandering to Hispanics by privileging Spanish in public life is a dangerous strategy for partisan success, and a reckless way to treat American unity.”

Now besides the irony that Jacoby used a Latin phrase to celebrate American unity, what is Jacoby so afraid of? Actual Spanish-speaking voters who might be more engaged in the political process because someone like Rubio or Gómez can communicate in another language besides English?

And what does he mean by “partisan success?” Is he really worried that the GOP will be too inclusive for him and that it might win a major election any time soon? Will that upset his apple cart and his perceived loss of American unity? He does know that the United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, ? Did anyone inform Jacoby about the 2012 election and the U.S. Latino vote?

So there has to be something more. And I think I know: it is this whole notion that in Jacoby’s eyes, people who speak Spanish are seen as dividers. Spanish doesn’t reassure people that “we’re all ‘part of the same community’.” Don’t you know that there is a Reconquista going on and that Spanish speakers in the U.S. are just going to raid your homes, steal your jobs, and destroy America? (That was sarcasm.) Need I remind Jacoby that Spanish was the first European language spoken in North America?

Here is the deal: Rubio and Gómez represent a new type of Americano politician, one who is looking at the changing demographics and realizing that communicating in Spanish is no longer a novelty. It is a possible vote-getter. Having English be the main language of business and government is one thing, being able to connect and communicate with voters through a different language is an entirely different concept. Jacoby’s column muddies that distinction.

To suggest that politicians speaking Spanish will only divide the country reeks of neo-nativism. If Jacoby really wants unity, he could start by getting over his fears and understand that making political parties more diverse is really what America is all about.

Hit it, Gollum.

***

Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77 on Twitter) founded LatinoRebels.com (part of Latino Rebels, LLC) in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He pens columns on LR regularly. In the last 12 months, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the NationNPR,  UnivisionForbesand The New York Times.

One More Rubio Agua Video: “Pásame la botella”

Ok, it is official, we are not getting tired of Marco Rubio’s water bottle moment.

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Here is one that Enrique Santos posted. (h/t to The BC Scoop)

Here’s the actual “Pásame la botella” video.

My Six Big Picture Thoughts About Julián Castro and His Keynote Speech

I will be honest with you. I went into last night's Democratic National Convention keynote address by San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro with low expectations. Sure, everyone was billing it as the first time a Latino was being featured as a keynote speaker in the history of political conventions, but after a week where people like Marco Rubio, Susana Martínez, and Luis Fortuño were rolled out by the Republicans in Tampa, I was kind of getting Latino-weary. Castro, indeed a politician whose star is rising, was just another part of the Hispanderfiesta that was becoming the standard between both parties.

And after listening to Fortuño (charlatan), Martínez (meh) and Rubio (guy had to cut his speech because of a empty chair), the Democrats' Latino answer in Castro was, to me, just going to be yet another of the "look at us! we have Latinos, too!" moment.

Low expectations coming in, but in the end, did Castro deliver? Yes, and then some.

Did he do his job of hitting on the Democrats' key points? Yes.

Did his style and his story instill a sense of pride and achievement among many Mexican American voters? Big time.

Did this sense of pride resonate with other US Latino voters from different backgrounds? Absolutely.

Was it 100% perfect? No.

So, with that in mind, here are my Six Big Picture Thoughts about Castro's speech:

1. Social Media Matters: The cynics can negate the power of social media all they want. In the end, delivering a political message and making sure it spreads organically (with an emphasis on organically) through tweets, shares, memes, and posts is a goal that all political parties must aspire to. Last night, Castro trended #2 globally on Twitter. Like #2 in the world. In fact, @gov tweeted the following:

Keynote speaker Castro also put a misleading spin on employment data. He claimed "we've seen 4.5 million new jobs" under President Obama. In fact, the nation has regained 4.5 million jobs that had been lost, but employment is still below where it was when the president took office.

Castro: Four years ago, America stood on the brink of a depression. Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action. And now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs.

Although he didn't say so, Castro is referring only to private-sector jobs — which have fared better than government jobs — and he is using February 2010 as the starting point, because that was the low point for private-sector jobs. There were 106,773,000 jobs then, and the number has been rising ever since. In July, there were 111,317,000 private-sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's an increase of 4,544,000.

The picture changes dramatically, however, when starting from the beginning of Obama's presidency. Between January 2009 and the most recently reported figures, there has been a net increase of just 332,000 private-sector jobs.

Moreover, if you include all jobs — including the hard-hit government job sector — there remains a net decrease of 316,000 jobs since the start of Obama's presidency. Total employment has gained about 4 million since February 2010, not 4.5 million. It's all in how you slice the data.

Sidenote: it is ironic that this fact check is lamenting the fact that there has been a decrease of public section jobs (reducing big government, anyone?), but still, Castro stretched the truth. Wow, a politician fudged facts! What a shocker.

3. Rubio Is No Castro: I just HAD to use that bullet headline since most of Rubio's supporters would tend to agree with it, at least when comparing the Florida senator to the two brothers who are in charge of Cuba. However, as is typical of the divisiveness that has become our political system, the moment Julián Castro's line ""My mother fought hard for civil rights, so instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone."

Within minutes, the conservative page Twitchy was asking whether Castro had borrowed a line from Rubio, who said last week in Tampa: "A few years ago, I noticed a bartender behind the portable bar in the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father, who worked as many years as a banquet bartender. He was grateful for the work he had, but that’s not like he wanted for us. You see, he stood behind the [bar] all those years so that one day I could stand behind a podium, in the front of a room.”

Now, I am not saying that Senator Rubio's background and personal story do not matter, just that Castro delivered his story with a little more alma. As for the whole allegations that Rubio's phrase was borrowed by Castro, here is what is wrong with that:

  • It took Rubio like four or five sentences to hit on his theme, whereas Castro was more succinct.
  • Rubio had to follow Clint Eastwood and because the "empty chair" bit ran way too long and was way too weird, Rubio had to cut his speech right before he took the podium. Castro was the headliner last night.
  • We didn't see many Marco Rubio quotes trending globally on Twitter when he spoke, and even though Castro provided his take on his mom's accomplishments, it is clear that Castro was speaking to a more diverse crowd in Charlotte and a larger base of younger Mexican American voters who basically see Rubio as just another Cuban. That might be unfair to Rubio, but it is the truth. Since Mexican Americans are clearly this country's biggest demographic among US Latinos, it would make sense to me that Castro spoke to a bigger (and friendlier) audience. It appeared that many were waiting for Castro to shine and hook themselves to anything he said that would reflect a world that is rarely portrayed on a national stage.

4. Castro Could Have Shown More Courage: Yes, Castro achieved a lot last night, and there is no doubt that he has a future on the national stage. But his biggest problem was that many will still see him as just another Latino speaking to the generic bullet points of the Democratic Party. While Castro praised his mom for being a strong Chicana activist and said that Congress must past the Dream Act, just hours before Castro spoke, a group of undocumented people were arrested in front of the DNC for protesting President Obama's immigration and deportation policies. Real courage would have been Castro standing with those who still believe that the Obama administration had indeed broken a campaign promise in 2008 that still leaves a bitter taste with many voters. In the end, Castro can make many feel proud, but to not acknowledge the elephant in the room (no pun intended) lowered his star down a notch.

5. The Mainstream Media Is Beyond Awful When It Comes to Latino Politics: This is kind of an extension of my third Big Picture Idea, but since I had too much to share about this, I created another category. As is typical of the mainstream media, now everyone is becoming an expert on Latino politics and the new trend is to turn Latino politics into an ethnic UFC brawl between the Cuban American Rubio in one corner and the Mexican American Castro in another corner. (See point 3, since I even fall into the trap when discussing what Twitchy did.)

The politics of division between Latinos can be a bit risky, and mainstream media outlets should be a bit more responsible. One headline from Fox News Latino read Julian Castro VS Marco Rubio, Mexicans VS Cubans, a Political Fight for the Ages, with the The Washington Post also weighing in and running the same Associated Press story that FNL ran. Here is a snippet  of what the AP piece said:

Moises Venegas, a retired Mexican-American educator and Latino community activist in Albuquerque, N.M., said the two groups have little in common besides an historical connection to Spain, and Spanish surnames.

“The Cubans have never been one of us,” Venegas said. “They didn’t come from Chihuahua or Sonora in Mexico and from poor backgrounds. They came from affluent backgrounds and have a different perspective. The Republican Party also has opened doors just for them.”

Pedro Roig, a Cuban-American attorney and senior researcher at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies in Miami, disputed the notion that there is significant rivalry between the groups. He attributes divisions between Cuban- and Mexican-Americans in part to geography and noted that many in the Cuban community admire Castro’s selection as the Democrats’ keynote speaker.

“Sometimes Cuban-Americans, we have created an enclave in the area of South Florida, which is much more limited than the Mexican settlement in the United States,” Roig said.

Of the 52 million Latinos in the U.S., 33 million are of Mexican descent, followed by 4.7 million who are Puerto Rican and 1.9 million of Cuban descent, Pew Hispanic Center numbers show. The remaining 10 largest Latino groups are Salvadorans, 1.8 million; Dominicans, 1.5 million; Guatemalans, 1.1 million; Colombians, 972,000; Hondurans, 731,000; Ecuadorians, 665,000; and Peruvians, 609,000, the center reported.

Granted, this AP story is trying to drive a typical "either/or" wedge between different groups, and even though the reporter finally acknowledges in the last paragraph of his story that the divisions between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans are dissipating, the damage was already done. The mainstream media will continue to buy into the fact that there is this lingering and intense hatred between these groups and now there will be a Rubio vs. Castro feel to it.

The sensationalism of the headlines and idea that this wedge issue still lingers ignore the fact that social networks are beginning to unite many more Latino voices in this country. There is a slow yet growing movement that speaks to unifying themes that bring US Latinos together. Critics will still say that everyone still solely identifies with ones' country of origin, but when our page gets comments such as the following, I know better times are ahead of us and this Rubio/Castro fake fight is just silly:

"We must be vigilante to not be divided by this type of bs. Unreal."

"I dont care if they come from mexican or cuban background, they are still LATINOS. I want you to care about what we can do for our community."

"The headline is awful, but let's be fair. Very frequently I hear non-Mexican Latinos bemoan the fact that they are taken for Mexican in the US. There are differences and division that have nothing to do with something being imposed, but rather the historical and cultural realities of each Spanish speaking country. The issue is whether Latinos can come together and build a grass-roots collective voting block to have more power than any group would have alone, or if the Latino vote will be wooed and used by others for political gain."

"It's dumb and divisive. Wasn't too long ago that we would hear "the irish", "those polish"…"

"I don't think they are missing anything……just another ploy to create more division. Nada mas."

What IS true is that Castro's Mexican American background did resonate with more people with similar backgrounds, because in the end, the numbers don't lie. However, to now pit this as a battle of different groups is pretty insulting. I know Cuban Americans who admire Castro, and I know Mexican Americans who admire Rubio. I know many Cuban Americans who came from "poor backgrounds" and I know Mexican Americans who came from affluent backgrounds. I know Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Dominicans, Peruvians, and so many other other "ans" that think we should be more unified and celebrate our commonalities. The AP story truly does a disservice to the complexity of the elusive, hard-to-define US Latino vote. Politically, I don't agree 100% with Rubio nor do I agree 100% with Castro, but I do think that having different voices with different points of view is what we should strive for in our political system.

So we should get beyond this "analysis" that pits Latinos against Latinos. There will never be strength in numbers if this type of "news" gets accepted by the mainstream.

But maybe it is too late, since my last Big Picture thought about last night's speech is all about Chris Matthews, whose patronizing views of "Latinos and Latinas" was so off-the-mark and so nonsensical, you are just left to wonder why didn MSNBC try to diversify its roundtable discussion last night? This is what Matthews had to say:

On the night where some history was made, Matthews basically spewed thoughts that, quite frankly, just didn't have to be said. US Latinos do not need to be patronized, they need to be heard and they will demand the politicians and the media hear them.

***

Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77 on Twitter) founded LatinoRebels.com (part of Latino Rebels, LLC) in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He will pen a weekly column on LR each week. Recently, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS' Face the NationNPR, and The New York Times.

On the Floor of the US Senate, Florida Senator Bill Nelson Slams Florida’s Voter Purge Law

What is going in Florida? While the junior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio (R), defended Florida's controversial voter purge law ("I wouldn't characterize it as an effort to purge Latinos from the voting rolls. I think there's the goal of ensuring that everyone who votes in Florida is qualified to vote. If you're not a citizen of the United States, you shouldn't be voting. That's the law."), his colleague from the Sunshine State, Bill Nelson (D), spoke from the floor of Senate and slammed the law for being un-American.

This is getting serious, folks. What do you think? Kind of a convenient move just months before a national election in a state that will very likely determine the presidency.

Gutiérrez Says Meeting with Rubio About Alternative DREAM Act Went “Great”

Is the shift in the immigration debate starting to happen between Democrats and Republicans?

Both Univision News and Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Día are reporting that a meeting between Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic leaders received praise by Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (IL), a vocal critic of recent Republican immigration policies as well as the policies of President Obama's administration.

The meeting, according to both outlets, was called by Rubio and included Rep. Gutiérrez, Rep. Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), and Rep. Charles González (D-TX). This is what Gutiérrez had to say to Univision News:

“It was a great meeting. Look, I am going to meet with anyone independent of their political party or what perceived or real political benefit my association [provides] as long as it does one thing: stop the deportations,” Gutiérrez told Univision News in an interview Wednesday evening.

The congressman, who’s known as a champion for immigration reform, said the three members who met with Rubio aren’t yet willing to announce their support for the plan since the final language has not yet been drafted, although they did discuss some details.

“He said it and we agreed with him; today was not a day for us to come together because there is no proposal to agree on. It was simply a conversation opening dialogue,” said Gutiérrez.

Rubio has begun to promote an alternative version of The DREAM Act, which would begin to address the citizenship status of undocumented youth who came to this country with their parents, but are not American citizens. Rubio's plan is in sharp contrast to what the GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has been promoting for months, which follows a more extreme view of immigration enforcement. Recently Romney was open to Rubio's plan, although he has yet to truly distance himself from "informal adviser" Kris Kobach, the architect of Arizona's SB 1070 immigrant law. Rubio is still being mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney.

Univision News provided some additional background about the history of The DREAM Act, which has overwhelming support with US Latino voters:

Rubio’s proposal is styled after the current version of the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who are seeking a higher education or want to enlist in the military. The proposal, which is widely popular with Latinos and non-Latinos alike, passed the House in 2010 but failed to clear a 60-vote hurdle in the Senate to break a filibuster.

The DREAM Act has been stalled in Congress since then under near-universal Republican opposition, including from Rubio, who describes it as an “amnesty” bill that could lead to “chain migration.” The presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said said he would veto the current version, though he has said recently he is open to Rubio’s plan. Rubio says that under his proposal, certain undocumented minors would receive legal status, but not a special pathway to citizenship.

That has been a main point of contention of several immigration-reform advocates and Democrats, who have described it as a half measure, an indication that it’s far from certain Democrats will endorse it. Indeed, earlier this month, Gutierrez labeled the plan the “Stolen Dreams Act.”

But he pledged to hold his fire until Rubio comes out with more details regarding the plan. “I also have concerns. I don’t want to speak to the details of a bill that he hasn’t fully elaborated. He gave us some good indications about different components of the bill, but those components could change,” he said. “Let’s give him a chance. He asked me to give him a chance, and I’m going to wait.”

As for other reaction to Rubio's plan, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) was quoted in a Washington Post blog that Rubio's plan would have trouble being passed in Congress:

Asked by a reporter whether he thought the House could pass an immigration measure this year that focused on more than just border security, Boehner said: “There’s always hope.”

The speaker said he has spoken to Rubio about his plan. “I found it of interest, but the problem with this issue is that we’re operating in a very hostile political environment. To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best.”

Boehner also added the following:

"Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue? Instead of campaigning all the time, maybe he ought to come back to Washington and go back to work,” Boehner said.

The Post's blog quoted President Obama's comments to Telemundo earlier this month about the Rubio plan:

“This notion that somehow Republicans want to have it both ways, they want to vote against these laws and appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment . . . and then they come and say, ‘But we really care about these kids and we want to do something about it’ — that looks like hypocrisy to me,” Obama said.

VIDEO: The Full Marco Rubio 2012 CPAC Speech

This Thursday Florida Senator Marco Rubio spoke at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee).

Unlike any other leader in modern American history, we are led today by a president that has decided to pit Americans against each other. The basic argument that he is making to our nation is that the reason why some of us are worse off that we used to be is that other people are doing too well; that the only way for some of us to do better is for other people to do worse. That the only way for some people to climb the political ladder is for other people to be pulled down….


Here's the problem — the words do matter, especially when they come from the highest office in the land. And that idea that the only way for some people to do better is for other people is to do worse, that's what other countries believe. That's the kind of though process that other people come here to get away from.

Here is a video of the whole speech.

Is Senator Marco Rubio Now A DREAMer?

Marco Rubio touched on the immigration topic at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Florida, and that led to a hint of his potential to run sometime in the future. Early on in the speech, Senator Rubio was interrupted by supporters of No Somos Rubios, a conjunction of multiple Latino and immigration organizations that are "launching an awareness campaign exposing the positions of the Sunshine State’s junior senator." After the No Somos Rubios members left (and Senator Rubio told security that the should stay), he continued and said the following:

For those children that were brought here at a very young age by their parents, through no fault of their own, who has grown up here their entire lives and now want to serve in the military or are high academic achievers and want to go school and contribute to America's future. I think there is broad bipartisan support for the notion that, we should somehow figure out a way to accommodate them.

Senator Rubio reached out to many migrant Latinos in the struggle as he passionately spoke about his parent's tribulations of coming to America to give him a better life. He also came down on some of the members in his own party for using "rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable, inexcusable"  on immigrants.

But there is something that will definitely come back to haunt him. According to Politico, the Senator was against the DREAM Act. “I’ve said repeatedly I want to help these kids. I think these were kids who were brought to this country by their parents when they were very young; they were high academic achievers and want to go to college and contribute to America’s future or serve in the armed forces,” Rubio said. “And I think helping them would be good for America. I do want to help them; I just don’t think the DREAM Act is the right or best way to do it.”

Why is the Senator speaking so devotedly on this issue and reversing his stance on the DREAM Act? I'll give a couple of reasons and let's break them down. 

  • According to the Pew Hispanic Center "Nine-in-ten (91%) Latinos support the DREAM Act, legislation that would permit young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children to become legal residents if they go to college or serve in the military for two years."
  • Latino moms said immigration and the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, were important to 32% of them and that they were 71% more likely to support a candidate based on his position on the DREAM Act (cnn.com).

How can we trust Marco Rubio, who has flipped his political stance on the DREAM Act a third time? Is Rubio looking to run in 2016 and has now started his campaign by supposedly supporting DREAMers or will he be tapped for the VP spot? I think our jefe said it best: "My take is that unless Rubio leads a DREAM Act legislation BEFORE the election, this is just political noise."