Despite tackling the immigration subject full force with a revised version of the Dream Act, Marco Rubio still lacks popularity among Latino voters. Some reports claim that the Florida Senator won’t appeal to the mass Latino population because he’s Cuban-American. Critics believe that since his family benefitted by the Cuban Adjustment Act (also known as the “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy), Rubio lacks the relatability necessary to court Latinos at the polls. The Cuban Adjustment Act grants residency (after one year) to any Cuban who touches U.S. soil.
Rubio didn’t stay silent for long when it came to responding to the headlines. According to Politico, the politician stated, “I’ve never said that me or anybody’s last name ends in a vowel automatically guarantees anything.” Rubio added, “I’ve never claimed that and, more importantly, I would say that’s borderline offensive.”
The 40-year-old senator also pointed out that he lives in a “pan-American community” in Miami. In addition, his wife, Jeanette Rubio, is of Colombian decent. “My point is, my neighbors, my family members — I have family members that are not from Cuba. I mean, Jeanette’s family is now my family. I’m surrounded by neighbors, friends, co-workers. I mean, I don’t live in a bubble, especially in Miami, where we’ve got people from all over Latin America that are our neighbors, our friends, go to school with our kids,” he says.
It’s one thing to disagree with Rubio’s politics, but to pinpoint and attack him based on his ethnic background is a bit backwards, no? If he's able to draft a comprehensive bill that will help millions of undocumented immigrants, does it really matter what his ethnic background is?
Watch Rubio’s immigration speech for HLN below and let us know your thoughts about the controversy.