Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9 a.m.
As if Marco Rubio's attempts to moderate the GOP's immigration stance weren't difficult enough: A Washington Post reporter has released part of a biography revealing that Rubio's grandfather ignored deportation orders from a Miami immigration court -- a detail that, combined with Rubio's own call for immigration reform, is sure to clash with the roots of his party.
How will the protect-the-border types in the GOP look toward a guy whose own grandfather came to the U.S. without a visa and stayed despite an order to leave?
The new story emerged through a yet-to-be-released Rubio biography penned by Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia, in excerpts published yesterday in Politico.
Rubio's maternal abuelo, Pedro Victor Garcia, had to face an immigration judge in Miami in 1962 after fleeing Castro's regime on a vacation from the island. His experience, Roig-Franzia writes, should sound familiar to anyone following today's immigration debate.
"(His story) was not unlike the present-day experiences of many Mexicans and Central Americans who come to the United States legally but later run afoul of visa laws and find their lives irreversibly upended," the author writes.
A judge ordered Victor-Garcia to return to Cuba, but Rubio's grandfather ignored the order. In 1967 -- four years before Rubio was born -- he again was summoned to immigration court; this time, in part due to a 1966 act giving Cuban exiles asylum, he was allowed to stay in Miami.
Rubio has already created friction with the more conservative wings of the Republican Party by demanding that the immigration debate be "toned down" and by suggesting changes to let the children of illegal aliens finder a quicker path to citizenship.
If he's going to earn the VP nod and keep talking about immigration, he'll certainly have to find a way to include his grandfather's own tale into the narrative.