While Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are considered Hispanics, neither one of them represent the Latino community in the United States despite a New York Times article misleadingly stating that these men may have the upper hand with Latinos because of it. Not only do they not represent the majority of Hispanics in the U.S. based on their political views (most are registered Democrats), but Cuban-Americans are not in the majority among Hispanics living in the United States.
While much has been said in the media that Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American Senator from Florida, is the best choice to help bring in the Latino vote, there is hardly any truth to that. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio mean nothing to 90% of U.S. Hispanic voters.
According to the last U.S. census, there are over 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. and a whopping 60% of them, live in the West Coast. For Hispanics residing in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas (to name a few); neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz represent them. In fact, most Hispanic voters do not identify themselves with either one.
Of the 50+ million Hispanics living in the United States, 64 percent are of Mexican origin while only 6 percent are of Cuban descent. Clustering Hispanics into a single category is a costly mistake that the GOP may be making in shoving Marco Rubio down their throats as “one of them.”
The Republican party is eager to show that it is minority inclusive but neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz, both of Cuban-descent, can identify with immigrant issues affecting the Hispanic community in the country. While thousands of Mexican immigrants are being deported, Cubans are privileged and benefit from the Wet Feet, Dry Feet policy that the U.S. affords them. When Cubans arrive to the United States, however the means, they are welcome to stay and legalize their status in the country.
Meanwhile, immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America who also arrive “however the means” to the United States, are deported back to their country of origin. While Central and South Americans may have some type of temporary protection status, those from Mexico are left to fend for themselves, despite the drug violence and political persecution they may endure.
So for Ted Cruz to say “I am from a Cuban immigrant family that came here legally” is hypocritical. The same stands for Senator Rubio.
Last month, The New Yorker wrote an interesting piece regarding the current Cuban migrant crisis:
For several years now, there has been grimly regular news of waves of Latin Americans seeking refuge in the U.S., mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where gang and drug violence have surged. At the same time, a stream of Cuban migrants has not commanded the same attention, but has revealed some of the vagaries and inconsistencies of American immigration law. Last year, forty-four thousand Cubans sought asylum in the U.S., an eighty-three-per-cent increase over the previous year. Most left out of concern that the new relations between the two countries could put an end to Cubans’ privileged immigration status, which, since 1966, has allowed them to easily obtain green cards. (The Cuban government has always objected to the American policy.)
While Marco Rubio was part of the “gang of eight” group who advocated for immigration reform in 2013, Senator Rubio quickly abandoned the bill when he received backlash for it. Had he cared about the immigrant community, he should have fought for it. Instead, he ran away from it when the going got tough and yet no one in his immediate family was affected by his decision to “cut and run” since they’re all of Cuban descent. Marco Rubio’s family already have special privileges in this country so why stay and fight for other immigrants who are less fortunate, right?
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are both typical politicians, each with their own agenda, and intent on manipulating voters in order to benefit themselves, not the people they represent.
While thousands of Cuban immigrants arrive in Mexico, Central and South America daily in their attempt to reach the United States, Senators Rubio and Cruz have proposed nothing to stop the influx of Cubans from arriving and getting automatic legal status upon entering the United States, cheating their way through the legal system. However, both Senators are quick to propose “securing our borders” to stop illegal immigration from other countries. For Rubio and Cruz, Cubans are welcome while immigrants from other Latin American countries are not.
Perhaps Donald Trump said it best, “[Jeb] Bush has a better message.”
Jeb Bush may not be Hispanic (although he speaks Spanish fluently) but he understands the issues affecting Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. He governed the State of Florida with a heavy Cuban-American population, studied in Mexico and has a degree in Latin American studies. Jeb Bush’s wife is from Mexico and his children are Hispanic.