It is fascinating to see the Republican Party tie itself into knots over the issue of Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s citizenship, a man who obviously wants to run for higher office, and who many in the GOP would like him to. Yet Republicans have allowed a segment of their party to attack the 14 th amendment to the Constitution, which clearly defines a citizen as someone born in the U.S. regardless of the status of their parents. And thus, those who contest that clause want to deny citizenship to anyone born of immigrant parents here in the U.S. This attack is of course patently and obviously anti-Latino, and it also affects Sen. Rubio’s future prospects since his parents were immigrants who, like so many others, came to America in search for a better future. And so it is not only Sen. Rubio’s political ideologies-or stripes as they say-that are counterintuitive, he has also deliberately gone against even the tamest pieces of immigration legislation, notably the DREAM Act, which would allow children who have lived almost their whole lives here to obtain citizenship. Clearly, Marco Rubio, son of immigrants, turns his back on the experience of millions of families like his because he has forgotten-or rejected-where he comes from, his roots. When Marco Rubio got so high up the mountain, instead of helping the next one up, started to kick people down. Clearly, just like so many others, he does not understand American politics because thinking that opposition to immigration reform can somehow help him get far in politics is so evidently false on so many levels that it is surprising people actually pursue this line of thinking. Even though some states are hard places for immigrants (a fact that can be confirmed just by looking at the grotesque injustices playing out in Alabama right now), if a politician wants to win office on a national level, he cannot do so on the backs of immigrants. Barack Obama knew it, as did George W. Bush. A recent poll by Latino Decisions has showed that in spite of caring very much about jobs, the economy, and education, Latinos in the U.S. are most heavily swayed by immigration politics. Because, as a Huffington Post correspondent put it, “for us, it isn’t about legal status, it’s about pride. It’s about recognition. It’s about respect…All of us Latinos, know what the anti-immigrants think. They say illegal, they mean Latino. It’s that simple. We know it, and we are watching, and we are counting who stands with us and who does not. Even if they are the sons of immigrants themselves.”
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