Monday, February 29, 2016


Marco Rubio likes to talk about his family's story—his Cuban-born parents, a bartender and a maid, who could hardly have dreamed their son would be running for president one day. In fact, Rubio invoked his mother, Oriales GarcĂ­a Rubio, twice during Thursday night's GOP debate. Once he noted that Donald Trump's hiring practices in Florida would have excluded his mother from his employment, then he mentioned that she still depends on Social Security and Medicare to get by.

That's probably why his mother, who grew up in Cuba sharing a one-room house with a family of nine, implored her son not to "mess with the immigrants" in 2012, aschronicled by Michael Grunwald.

[O]n the morning of Dec. 21, she called her youngest son, Marco Antonio Rubio, the 41-year-old Senator from Florida and great Hispanic hope of the Republican Party—or, as she calls him, Tony. She got his voice mail. “Tony, some loving advice from the person who cares for you most in the world,” she said in Spanish. “Don’t mess with the immigrants, my son. Please, don’t mess with them.” She reminded him that undocumented Americans—los pobrecitos, she called them, the poor things—work hard and get treated horribly. “They’re human beings just like us, and they came for the same reasons we came. To work. To improve their lives. So please, don’t mess with them.”

Rubio has placed political expediency over principle repeatedly on immigration:opposing the DREAM Act, running away from his own immigration bill in 2013, constantly emphasizing "border security first" on the campaign trail and promising to repeal Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as president, and now exhibiting a certain nostalgia for the concept of self-deportation. Wonder what his mother might say now.