Fortunately for Marco Rubio, he is a handsome, up-and-coming star within the Republican Party, whose Cuban roots have a particular appeal in South Florida and assisted his rise to national prominence.
Unfortunately for Marco Rubio…
He was the son of exiles, [Rubio] told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after "a thug," Fidel Castro, took power. But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that Rubio's dramatic account of his family saga embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 1/2 years before Castro's forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year's Day 1959.
Wait, who cares? Family histories are complicated. I'm sure once Rubio updated his website to reflect the reality of his family's story, we could stop worrying about the exact date of his parents' departure and just acknowledge that Senator Rubio, no matter what you think of his politics, represents some of the best of the immigrant experience. Except Rubio won't let it go…
… The story's the same one. Like I said, are there dates that are different, that we were wrong, because I didn't know. I mean, we're talking about things that happened 15 years before I was even born.
But, the bottom line is, the story is essentially the same one, and I think it's been blown way out of proportion by some people in the media.
I think I know why this matters so much. According to some, if you escaped from Castro's Cuba after the Revolution, you're a sexy anti-communist exile, ready to work hard and defend freedom. But if you emigrated from Cuba while Castro was still hanging out in Mexico, you're just another Hispanic immigrant, coming to steal our jobs and take our welfare (somehow at the same time).
In fact, there's one U.S. Senator who has become particularly adept at distinguishing between different kinds of deserving and undeserving immigrants.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Cuba, Fidel Castro, Florida, Immigration, Marco Rubio, Republicans