Florida senator, immigration-detention-contractor-donation-taker, and walking logical fallacy Marco Rubio decided today, out of the kindness of whatever exists where his heart ought to be, to tour the Homestead Temporary Shelter of Unaccompanied Children. And because he is Marco Rubio and said words in public today, a bunch of protesters rightfully screamed at him in the middle of a press conference.
Rubio has been blathering all week that he doesn't believe that the United States should "incentivize" parents to send their kids to the U.S. as refugees, and
During the press gaggle, Rubio said that the nation's current immigration policies are "at a minimum an incentive to drive what is a very dangerous and terrible journey."
Rubio then tried to say that he understood why people make that journey, but protesters weren't having it:
"I understand why people do —" he started to say.
"No you don't understand!" protesters shouted back.
The clip is quite cathartic to watch:
Marco Rubio: "I understand why people" make dangerous journey to U.S. border.— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) June 22, 2018
Protesters: "No you don't!" pic.twitter.com/RfQXlwPUcx
Naturally, Rubio responded in the most insufferable way possible:
Actually more like 2 screaming people who apparently support a release policy that encourges already vulnerable migrants to bring children with them on dangerous journey to unlawfully cross U.S. border. Great policy for human traffickers & cartels, but not so great for children. https://t.co/ySRArRPp59— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 22, 2018
Rubio has been having one of his classic, hectoring Twitter meltdowns all week, writing that while he disagrees with separating children from their parents at the U.S. border, he also believes that it's totally cool and humane to keep families held in immigration-detention cages, since they might flee if they're released. Data shows this is untrue — Justice Department statistics show that only 25 percent of immigration-court cases were decided in absentia (without the immigrant present) in 2016.
But, in an even more obviously hypocritical move, Rubio has spent all week complaining that the current U.S. immigration system "incentivizes" parents to cross the border with their kids in order to "stay forever."
I support a generous immigration system. I support responsibly accommodating those who came years ago as children & those who have been here a long time. But a policy which basically says if you unlawfully enter with children you will likely get to stay forever is irresponsible— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 21, 2018
Rubio himself has repeatedly flip-flopped on this very issue in an obvious attempt to score political points with his base. Right up until 2017, Cuban-Americans were basically given the free ability to cross into the country "illegally" and gain expedited citizenship status instead of being detained alongside immigrants from every other nation. This policy — called "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" — stated that, if a Cuban refugee made it to U.S. soil, he or she was entitled to stay here. (And, unless you're an outright white-nationalist, it's pretty clear that increased Latin-American migration to Miami has been a good thing.)
Rubio in 2016 tried to repeal the policy, using many of the same arguments he's using today. But in 2017, when President Obama repealed Wet Foot, Dry Foot himself, Rubio was suddenly very upset at Obama for repealing the policy he tried to repeal one year earlier. Suddenly giving refugees the ability to "escape tyranny" was good again!
"The Cuban Adjustment Act has provided countless Cubans the opportunity to escape the Castro tyranny," Rubio said. "However, in recent years it has also led to growing abuses. While some changes were needed, we must work to ensure that Cubans who arrive here to escape political persecution are not summarily returned to the regime, and they are given a fair opportunity to apply for and receive political asylum."
Other political insiders have noted the base hypocrisy of Miami's Cuban-American community, in general, complaining about policies "incentivizing" asylum seekers, since Cuban refugees were given preferential "asylum" treatment under the Cuban Adjustment Act for years:
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Yes, unless you came on Mariel or a raft, you probably entered lawfully. But we can't forget that 164k Cubans (like my dad, aunt and grandmother) didn't subsequently become "illegal" once their temporary status expired thx to an unprecedented privilege: the Cuban Adjustment Act.— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) June 22, 2018
So let's not get too hung up on the purity of immigration logistics or forget how we benefited from compassionate laws that facilitated our success. Yes, we worked hard, but it's also easier to build businesses, go to school and raise kids when you're not hiding from "la migra."— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) June 22, 2018
We were granted special access to the penthouse suite by virtue of sheer luck, kindness, and grace. The right thing to do is to send that elevator back down.— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) June 22, 2018
So, yeah, keep on screaming at Marco Rubio, Miami. And don't forget he takes cash from the GEO Group, one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's top detention-center contractors.