Do the U.S. Presidential Candidates with Hispanic last names necessarily care about immigrants?

Written by Carla Saskia Sanchez, Political Science at Florida State University  (Tallahassee, Florida)

In the midst of getting to know presidential candidates, we’re meeting lots of new faces and names. Certain names stand out in particular to Latinos in the United States. The best way to choose a new president or any official is by learning more about each candidate and selecting the one that represents your needs and interests. It is always helpful to avoid bias, including supporting one blindly because he or she has a similar background to you. Spanish-speaking immigrants who are now able to vote in the United States may still be in the process of learning English, so I hope that they avoid endorsing a candidate whom they wouldn’t support if they didn’t have a last name like theirs.  That is why I’ve compiled some impartial truths about the candidates with Hispanic last names.

Marco Antonio Rubio. If this name sounds familiar, that is because it belongs to Florida’s very own Miami-native Senator and 2016 Presidential candidate. The Republican is the son of Cuban immigrants who fled Cuba for the United States sometime in the 1950s. Rubio is a known Conservative, standing with gun rights and (ironically, I might add) pro-life supporters. He also advocates the strengthening of Social Security and Medicare for the elderly – while also preaching about cutting down on taxes. His campaign slogan sounds quite revolutionary – “A New American Century.”

On immigration, Rubio sure remembers his background. In 2013, he co-authored and supported the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This ill-fated proposal promised a transition to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. In October, pro-immigration billionaire Paul Singer also announced his aid for Rubio’s campaign.

While this might sound good to those seeking to become American citizens, Republican fears of mass illegal immigration are growing. Unfortunately, Rubio’s Republican friends are hinting an ultimatum at him – more restrictive immigrations policies and closed borders or you lose right-wing support. Polls show that most Republicans and conservatives want to decrease immigration flows and deport people in the country illegally (Bloomberg Politics). If such threats continue and he cannot risk losing his fan base, Rubio might be forced to go the politics way and tell his supporters what they want to hear.

Even worse, just this first Wednesday of November, Rubio publicly announced his opposition for the DREAMers. “I’d end it,” he stated, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. What does this mean? If Rubio becomes president, he’ll stop any progress made for undocumented immigrants who were brought illegally as children to the United States. Final statement on Rubio: not a fan of the American dream for all.

Have you heard about Rafael Cruz, the Hispanic-American candidate running for President of the United States? Perhaps you know him better as Ted Cruz, Texas Senator and die-hard Republican. The Canadian-born conservative is the son of a Cuban immigrant and an American mother. He also likes to call himself a “Courageous Conservative.”

The sentimental quote on Cruz’s website sounds quite appealing: “We need to build a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything.” If there’s anything we can be sure Cruz feels strongly about, it’s abolishing the IRS.

Just recently in 2013, Cruz sponsored a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That same year, an angry Cruz condemned the Obama administration for the release of thousands of imprisoned immigrants, referring to them as “criminal illegal aliens.” On August 2016, Cruz also stated that he had never (and will never) support amnesty (Politifact). Actually, he had voted against that same amnesty legislation Rubio had supported. As President, he vows to secure the border and to never “release a violent criminal illegal alien.”

Ouch. He’s the son of immigrants, is basically an immigrant himself, yet Cruz sure doesn’t like immigrants.

Are you ready for a new American century, or will you remain a Courageous Conservative? Tell us!

Twitter: @latinoamedicion and @carlasanchez_fl




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