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While Hispanic leaders in the Republican Party continue to withdraw their support from GOP nominee Donald Trump after his nativism-laced speech this week, Florida’s junior Senator Marco Rubio continues to stand by the man that former Jeb Bush advisor Sally Bradshaw has called a total narcissist, misogynist and a bigot.
Miami Republican Mike Fernandez is just the latest in a growing list of Republican political and elected leaders, including Bradshaw, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Florida Republican Party’s communications director, Wadi Gaitan, who are rejecting Trump’s limited and racist vision for America.
“Donald Trump is neither representative of our values nor qualified to lead the nation,” wrote Fernandez in a recent op-ed. “…Our republic will be placed in fundamental peril if we are foolish enough to elect a person who has made it clear that he does not share in our democratic values and that the only idol in his temple is himself.”
Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago agrees with that statement and with countless others who say that electeds like Sen. Rubio need to be held accountable for both their current support of Trump and the “divisive racial and ethnic politics” that paved his rise.
“Rubio hasn’t softened his position on immigration any more than Trump has; he just delivers the hard line with oratory know-how,” wrote Santiago. “…If Republicans vote for Hillary Clinton and then for every other Republican on the ticket, we’ll have more of what we’ve had for the last eight years: a do-nothing Congress, a state government neglectful of our most precious resources and most vulnerable populations, and the same local GOP machine churning out candidates like Rubio.”
Poll after poll show bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform that allows currently undocumented Americans to stay in the country continuing to contribute socially and economically to their local and state communities. Yet Rubio continues to reject these sentiments. Much to the delight of Tea Party activists, Rubio supports the immediate end of the DACA program and the deportation of all DREAMERS. He has pushed an aggressive security-first approach that would redefine most non-violent infractions as deportable criminal charges that also require minimum incarceration periods. He is also on the record supporting Donald Trump’s proposal to strip funding from cities and counties with immigration friendly law enforcement relationships, a move that could have huge consequences for fragile local economies.
Ironically, Sen. Rubio is set to speak at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Orlando this weekend, organized by Americans for Prosperity. As of Friday, there is no indication whether Rubio will include in his “defense” the hopes of American DREAMERs or other children of immigrants that Trump’s racist and nativist policies look to shut out.
“Sen. Marco Rubio may sell himself as more moderate on immigration, but Rubio and Trump’s policy recommendations are both quite similar in their destructive effect on the immigrant community and our nation’s core values of openness and opportunity,” said Florida’s Voice State Director Elbert Garcia. “Latino community leaders in Florida and across the nation are very clear, regardless of party affiliation, that these policies of vilifying and criminalizing immigrants are an insult to all Americans. If Rubio can’t stand up to Trump and his supporters now, there is little doubt that he won’t do so if elected to another term this November.”