Kicking the ladder after your people have arrived – Estilo Cubano courtesy of Marco Rubio

November 17th, 2009 · 14 Comments

Andrea Nill at Think Progress has a pretty good post up about Republican Florida senatorial candidate Marco Rubio and his views on Ronald Reagan’s immigration policy, which back in 1986 granted amnesty for over 2.7 million people and provided a pathway to citizenship for agricultural seasonal workers. The Immigration Reform and Control Act, also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, was a bipartisan effort that made citizens out of many shadow contributors to our society. And upon Reagan’s passing, then President of NCLR Raul Yzaguirre even stated, “Hispanics also appreciated that President Reagan’s vision of America as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all included immigrants, millions of whom he helped to become Americans. Not only did he sign the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) – which included two highly- controversial legalization programs – into law in 1986, his administration worked diligently to implement these programs.”

Well, according to Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American son of immigrants, this wasn’t a good idea. Rubio thinks we should “seal the border and the visa problem” and favors solving the immigration issue “by attrition.”

For those of you needing a reminder, Cubans get their own special “amnesty” of sorts, where once they make it to shore, they qualify for an expedited “legal permanent resident” status. The Cuban-Americans can thank President Johnson and the Democratic Congress, who in November of 1966, extended this welcome mat to their gente with the Cuban Adjustment Act. Immigrants from Cuba certainly have a preferential arrangement compared to their counterparts from other countries.

I find it ironic that Marco Rubio, clearly a beneficiary within the last generation of an “amnesty” program, wants to kick the ladder out from other immigrants. If you go to his campaign website, he even mentions his parents and the jobs that they worked (bartending and hotel housekeeping like many other immigrants). It is as if he’s saying, “I got mine; now I’m going to make sure that you don’t get yours.” If this is the GOP’s new Latino outreach strategy, finding candidates who are critical of Reagan’s popular immigration policy, I don’t think that they are going to make gains with other groups that don’t have the privilege of the “Cuban amnesty.”

Tags: Cuba · GOP · Immigration · Republican Party

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    This guy is such a loser. He thinks he’ll be accepted if he dumps on somebody else. His parents probably floated here on an innertube.

  • 2 stephen // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm


  • 3 Midy // Nov 18, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Very sad. But not all Cubans are alike. Here’s one that thinks differently. :-)

  • 4 Reyfeo // Nov 18, 2009 at 5:58 am

    You’re looking at the fututre of the conservative movement…many of us, are all for PRO IMMIGRATION, just not for PRO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION…there’s a difference.

  • 5 Cockroach People // Nov 18, 2009 at 6:30 am

    It’s a natural progression for the Floridian wingnuts that still can’t get over Castro nationalizing their haciendas, after all these years. They and their descendants have very little in common with the rest of Latin-Americans–especially the actual Cuban nationals that might fit under this immigration loophole.

    Reagan, who actually cared about business and the economy, was right about immigration.

    Too bad the nuance that you elicit about what counts as legal or illegal immigration may be lost on some of your readers (at least one).

  • 6 Anna // Nov 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

    What these arguments don’t do, though, is address why so many people from Mexico and Latin America have had to leave in the last 20 years. The problem is NAFTA and other trade agreements in the hemishpere. These trade agreements give corporations free reign not only to lower wages, but to pollute the groundwater and the soil, making certain areas uninhabitable. They also give agribusiness the right to flood the market with cheap grain that puts local farmers out of business.

    Until these issues are addressed and NAFTA is re-negotiated or repealed, the immigration problem will not be solved.

  • 7 AmericaNica // Nov 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

    It is unfortunate that the Republican Party line encourages band-aid solutions to deeply rooted socio-economic challenges that contribute to “illegal” immigration. When will they learn?

  • 8 XicanoPwr // Nov 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Just more divide and conquer – Cuban refugees good; Mexicans and people South of the Mexican border bad.

    Funny things is nativist gringos don’t see it that way, Brown skin people = Mexicans.

    Rubio is a perfect example of what Paulo Freire described as the oppressed becoming “sub-oppressors.” In this role, they tend to become more of a tyrant to show they are different from “the others.” In this case, “Mexicans.”

  • 9 » Marco Rubio, A Crossover Success - By ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! // Nov 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    […] the rounds in the Latinosphere is former Florida House Speaker and Republican senatorial candidate Marco Rubio and his take on […]

  • 10 Miss Karma // Nov 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    The Latino version of Larry Elder perhaps??? This guy sounds worse than Herman Badillo in New York.

    Reagan and NAFTA (as Anna stated) are the reasons why both legal and illegal immigration have occurred. Reagan put his nose in the business of Central American Elections (and Grenada as well) and supported the death squads in El Salvador.

    It amazes me how people complain about immigration (both legal and illegal) without even giving an iota of a thought as to how the foreign policy towards Latin America played a role.

    ….and would immigration currently even be an issue if it was the Polish, and Russians that were stowing away in droves on planes or submarines coming across the Atlantic?

  • 11 Donny Deutsch, Marco Rubio, and the “Coconut Incident” // Feb 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    […] term because Rubio has expressed rather conservative views, especially in regards to immigration. But again, this illustrates that not all Latinos are immigration or pro-migrant friendly. Deutsch […]

  • 12 TheTruth // Dec 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    We Latinos, are the ones that are affected most by what is going on in the border. Just turn your TV on and watch the fire, with the undocumented as the gasoline added to that fire. The business interest, that exploit the immigrants, are the ones that are keeping the border open. Meanwhile, reasonable people
    are frustrated and manipulated by politician into blaming immigrants for their economic problems, and to associate them with the drug violence occurring across the border. Securing the border is the first step in dealing with the immigration problem. Waiting for comprehensive immigration is a tactic for politicians to stall while making false promises to gain votes. I think that Marco Rubio has
    correctly assessed the problem, and knows that we can not deal with the issue until these explosive emotional issues have been blunted.

  • 13 Sen. Marco Rubio Co-Sponsors E-Verify and Faces Latino Backlash // Jun 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    […] to be expected. Senator Rubio was a tea party darling, and for at least the past year, he has been expressing a more hard line position on […]

  • 14 “Anchor Baby” Mia Love Refuses to Clarify Her Family’s Immigration StoryPolitical News and Opinion from a Multicultural Point of View | Political News and Opinion from a Multicultural Point of View // Oct 1, 2012 at 3:23 am

    […] ago | Also Featured in Immigration Policy Politics Chalk this one up to another instance of kicking the ladder out from the people coming up behind you. Mia Love, a Republican candidate for Congress in Utah, who is […]

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