Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Since Marco Rubio is Cuban do you think his ability to speak as a Hispanic on immigration issues is diminished?

Asked by JLeslie (48242 points ) June 24th, 2012

I realize even non-Hispanics can speak to, and have an opinion about, immigration into the US, but I find it odd that no one in the media is asking Rubio if he thinks it logical and fair that Cubans are legal the second they touch our shore, but other Hispanics have to go through a difficult process.

I know the Cuban issue is a political one, but still, I think especially the democrats could kind of shut Rubio down by dwelling on his family came into America without papers basically. They were escaping bad conditions I would assume, but so are Mexican, Nicarguans, and on and on.

Does it matter to you that Rubio is Cuban? Does he represent Hispanics to you and the difficulties they face with immigration policy?

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42 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I think the Cuban issue is like the Vietnamese issue, @JLeslie. There is a history behind the reason their citizenship requirements may be different. You can’t lump everyone you see as Hispanic together in one immigration issue umbrella.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham That’s my point actually. He is out there like he “understands” the Hispanic plight with immigration issues, when in fact he is not like the rest so to speak.

filmfann's avatar

What has diminished Marco Rubio’s ability to comment on such things is his own lies about his family’s history, and the issues around their leaving Cuba. Source

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann Thanks for the link! I knew nothing of this controversy. So, it seems his family actually does have something in common with other Hispanics, as they came intially for economic reasons. I still wonder what he would answer if someone asked him directly if he still believes in having political asylum available for Cubans, and a more difficult path for other Latin Americans? And, funny the birthers questions Rubio’s ability to be President because his parents were not citizens at the time of his birth. That just proves the hard core birthers are probably just racist.

bkcunningham's avatar

@JLeslie, what is Rubio’s platform on immigration?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I was just watching him on Meet The Press. It was the first I have really listened to Rubio. I know very little about him actually. He stated he is against the Dream Act, but does believe in passing a law that would help young llegal immigrants. He seemed unwilling to answer yes or no on whether he would require illegal immigrants having to return back to their countries to apply. He seemed very bothered that those trying to enter our country legally would have a harder time getting entry papers than those who were already here and had entered the country illegally.

Most nonCuban Hispanics I know are really annoyed Cubans have it so “easy” getting papers. So, I find it ironic he is viewed simply as a Hispanic like any other Hispanic by most people. Like he can represent the Hispanic community, and that people might believe that it will help Romney with the Hispanic community in general of Rubio were the running mate. It would probably help him in Florida, which is a swing state, so in that way it makes sense.

You know, my SIL is Mexican and she agrees with the AZ laws. So, it isn’t so much whether Rubio has the right to have an opinion, my point is more that it is false that he represents most Hispanics in our country regarding immigration issues. Cubans are in a caterogy very different than other Hispanics.

bolwerk's avatar

From what I hear of him, I have trouble taking anything Rubio says seriously. But that has nothing to do with his nationality, and everything to do with the fact that his opinions have prima facie dumb and probably are only intended to tow the party line.

That said, you need a better reason than background to think someone can have an informed opinion on immigration. Some of the most flabbergasting, rigid stances on immigration I find come from “legal” immigrants, who because of luck of the draw or fraud got in, often without much difficulty. They’re often otherwise reasonable people who vehemently oppose “illegal” immigration, and want to bring the full force of the police and INS down on “illegals,” I guess on the basis that they figure the “illegals” have it easy or something.

mazingerz88's avatar

To Republican politicians or maybe even to their voters, I think it hardly matters as long as he is Hispanic or Latino or precisely, of Cuban descent. His stature in their eyes would not have been diminished. Naturally, I’m talking about their “politicking”.

Blackberry's avatar

I wasn’t aware Cubans had an easier process than others. I can see how this would be a problem with others’ thinking him unable to understand the struggles of others.

I don’t know much about immigration issues. Why is it easier for some and others harder? I am aware that it’s easier for people with useful job skills, but that’s about it.

bolwerk's avatar

@Blackberry: Cubans get instant asylum if they touch U.S. soil, a hangover from Cold War politics. The U.S. is still butthert that Cuba opted for Soviet-style inefficiency over being a dumping ground for U.S. sex tourists. Needless to say, it might have been a lateral move.

My sorta educated guess about why that is (or why it continues, rather): Cubans are a large portion of Florida’s population, and tend to swing their votes enough one way or another that neither party is especially keen on pissing them off. Further, Florida is probably the one state that can literally be decisive in a presidential election. At least in 2000 and 2004, and probably again in 2012, whoever won did so because they won Florida.

bkcunningham's avatar

Often it is easier because of refugee status, @Blackberry. The US legally admits 1 million immigrants a year into this country. That is really astounding.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Sort of? It’s not really the Cuban part that’s directly making me want to listen to him less, it’s the part where he uses it to say, “immigration for Cubans, and nobody else.”

bkcunningham's avatar

When did Rubio say that, @Aethelflaed?

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry @bkcunningham Actually, @bolwerk is correct, all a Cuban has to do is reach US soil and they get political asylum. One toe on the sand at the beach and they are legal. There is no quota regardng this, it just is. The whole country of Cuba could leave and arrve here and they would lgeally be able to all come in. That is, unless the coast guard caught them before they made it to shore. It is a leftover from the cold war and other political reasons I would guess. We gave communists asylum, we used to do it for Russians and the Chinese too I think. Russians for sure would defect and we would take them in back in the day.

@bolwerk It isn’t that I don’t think he can understand and empathasize with the situations of Latin Americans from other countries, and even people from other parts of the world who want to come to America, it’s that portraying himself as a Hispanic himself, like he is like the very people trying to get legal status is a falsehood. I think most people don’t know that Cubans have a totally different situation, as @Blackberry didn’t know. i would not expect most people to know, but I think the democrats could use it as weapon if they started asking Rubio questions about Cuban immigration v. Other countries and whether he believes it should be so different? Is he going to go out on a limb and say he thinks Cibans shouldn’t be autoatically admitted into America? Is he going to tell a group of Mexicans they don’t deserve to come in as much as Cubans, even though the Mexicans in their own country were poor as poor can be with no opportunity?

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed I haven’t heard anything like that. When did you hear him say it?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie That wasn’t a verbatim quote. He supports the AZ law, and thinks it should be upheld, and that they have a right to have that law – but doesn’t want it to come to Florida.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed He mentioned it on Meet The Press also that he supports the AZ law, but not for FL. At the time he said it I didn’t take it as immigration for Cubans, but not others, but now I have to rethink it.

bkcunningham's avatar

What? @Aethelflaed, Rubio doesn’t say anything even close to that in the article you linked. @JLeslie, the Arizona issue is border security. Border security in Florida? Think about it guys. shaking head in dismay

JLeslie's avatar

Even if FL adopted the AZ law it would not affect Cubans. They are legal.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Cubans float over to FL all the time. How is that different than running across a border? Haitians too. In fact the Haitians are very annoyed they don’t get asylum like the Cubans, because their situation politically and economically in their country is dire.

bkcunningham's avatar

He doesn’t come anywhere close to saying only Cubans should be able to come to America. That’s right @JLeslie. I don’t know what I was thinking.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Actually the law in AZ is basically like our federal law, but the feds aren’t doing enough. Personally, I am against the AZ law, because I am against local police doing anything with immigration, but I am fine with enforcing our federal immigration laws with federal agents.

bkcunningham's avatar

That is what Rubio has been saying. The law came about because the feds won’t enforce their own immigration laws. That is what he means when he says he doesn’t want it in Florida. He is saying he understands the path that led Arizona to pass the law they passed and why they did what they did.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham It doesn’t really explain why it isn’t a good law for FL. The feds aren’t doing more in FL. There are illegal people all over FL.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t think the issue with illegals is the same in Florida and Arizona, @JLeslie. Do you think Florida and Arizona has the same issues regarding immigrations?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Arizona complained about the violence and crime. They can arrest people for criminal behavior without asking for papers. Once someone is convicted, or even arrested maybe INS is called in. But the threat of ID’ing people who are witnesses or just walking down the street is a bad idea in my opinion. Local police is to keep the streets safe, and if someone is afraid to come forward because the local police might have them deported, then crime can get worse.

Do I think there are gangs and crime in FL? Yes I do. Do I think there are as many illegals in FL as in AZ, not sure, but there are probably a lot. I can try to look up the stats. Are yu concerned with all illegal immigrants or just the drug runners, theifs, and gang members? I don’t say that accusing you of being against immigration or anything. I am not even sure where you stand on the issue, I am not assuming anything.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Oh, this is very informative about the stats for illegal immigrants by state. FL is way up there.

bkcunningham's avatar

I have never understood the argument against asking someone for their ID. My god, I have to show my ID to get a resident’s discount at our movie theatre. I show my ID if I’m pulled over while driving my car or if I go to the doctor’s office and when I vote.

I do think there are gangs in parts of Florida. Do I think if someone is stopped by the police for whatever reason in Florida they are going to be asked to show some form of ID? Of course.

I lived outside of Washington, DC, in Prince William County. It had the seventh largest immigrant population in the US. There were more gangs, crime, gang activity there than where I live in Florida. Prince William County passed some of the toughest immigration laws in the nation. They didn’t get the attention that Arizona received.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I don’t have a problem with asking for ID, I have a problem with local police wanting to see papers regarding being legal in the country. If the fed does it I am fine with it. If police ask for ID, any state or country issued ID should be fine.

bkcunningham's avatar

Do what? You have a problem with the local police wanting to see papers regarding being legal in the country? According to the bill: A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:

1. A valid Arizona driver license.
2. A valid Arizona nonoperating identification license.
3. A tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
4. A valid United States federal, state or local government issued identification.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Unfortunately, @bkcunningham, when a person is stopped in AZ, if they are obviously hispanic, they must prove that they are American citizens or they will be arrested. A drivers license is not considered as proof of citizenship (at least not for hispanic individuals because there are too many fake IDs out there). If you were stopped & had to prove that you were an American citizen, would you be able to prove your citizenship? Do you carry a Certified Copy of your Birth Certificate around with you at all times? Most of us do not… but the way things seem to be going, we may all need to do just that.

bkcunningham's avatar

I actually do, @Linda_Owl. I was warned by people here on Fluther in another thread not to carry it in my wallet, but I have for years and years. I posted some basic elements of the bill above. It mirrors federal law.

http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Some states don’t allow illegal immigrants to get state issued ID’s like driver’s licenses.

bkcunningham's avatar

You mean because they are illegal, @JLeslie?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Yes. I think some states don’t ask for paperwork showing someone is legal or not in the country to get a driver’s license and some do. But, I want to say again, I have no problem seeking out illegal immigrants and deporting them, I just want the feds to do it. Although, I do agree with the general spirit behind the dream act, that children brought here at very young ages should have some sort of easy path to citizenship.

bkcunningham's avatar

They and/or their parents have the same paths that the 694,193 people took last year who were naturalized.

bkcunningham's avatar

The latest telephone poll taken by the Arizona Governor’s office asked whether people who live in Arizona think illegal immigration is a serious problem:

29% responded, “Yes, it is a serious problem.”
71% responded, “No es una problema seriosa.”

bolwerk's avatar

The same path as those naturalized last year – that is to say, marriage to a citizen, work/family sponsorship, exorbitant investment ($500k-$1M), onerous legal appeals that are unlikely to work, or lottery (luck).

For those who are “limited” federal government types, the only intellectually honest position about immigration is letting the states decide individually if they want the benefits and burdens. Places like New York and California clearly do. Places like Arizona don’t.

bkcunningham's avatar

@bolwerk, if you aren’t a natural born US citizen or you didn’t acquire citizenship after birth like my stepdaughter who was born to two US citizens stationed in Germany, what are the paths to US citizenship?

bolwerk's avatar

@bkcunningham: pretty sure the only ways that don’t involve birthright citizenship (e.g., jus soili or jus sanguine) were listed in my first paragraph above. Other than asylum or refugee status, which are not really options outside very narrow circumstances, did I miss any?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Seems to me an illegal immigrant child would be pretty nervous about declaring to the US that she lives here, illegally, but wants to apply for legal status. Oh, and her parents are illegal too, come and get them. How does that work exactly? How does someone brought here illegally at the age of 4 all of a sudden officially tell immigration they are here without being scared to death of the consequences?

How do you compare a girl born to two US parents stationed in Germany (basically same situation as McCain) which makes that baby automatically a US citizen assuming the parents had lived in the US at some time, to a child brought across the border illegally by noncitizen parents? I don’t think your stepdaughter even has to do any paperwork in that situation, she simply is a citizen, as McCain is.

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