Recently Venezuelan advocates and their allies have taken Marco Rubio to task for failing to support critical immigration reforms that would help tens of thousands of Venezuelans across Florida. With the bulk of Venezuelans living with temporary protected status located in Florida, leaders have been pressing Rubio to support a path to permanent status for TPS recipients.
Not only has Rubio refused, he’s advocated for Venezuelan immigrants to eventually return to their home country. Now leaders are slamming Rubio’s failures to support their community in recent radio interviews and op-eds.
“[Marco Rubio] basically turned his back on us at this point and doesn’t support a path to citizenship…Marco Rubio, when he has spoken publicly, and I’m not talking about other people’s opinions, but about his own statements, he has clearly said that he doesn’t support a path to citizenship, not just for TPS beneficiaries, but not even for DACA recipients, either, among which there are many Venezuelans.”
“We feel a little politically used. Many Venezuelans, and there are polls that show this, are openly disillusioned and it puts on the table the possibility of them not supporting Senator Rubio because he doesn’t support us anymore,” said Venezuelan activist Ade Ferro on Radio Caracol.
“We are very disappointed by the posture that has been adopted by Senator Marco Rubio. One thing is what he’s told us when he has had the opportunity in the past: many promises, many suggestions of options and solutions, but afterwards, zero action,” said William Diaz, founder of Casa De Venezuela on Actualidad Radio.
“We are fighting for them to listen to us and step up, which is logical, because the majority of the members Venezuelan community are in Florida and they, both Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, are our representatives in the Senate, and we need their support…What we are seeing is that this is a political game, they are forgetting about the needs of our community…They are playing games with our community. They only look for us when they want us to vote for them but at the moment of truth, when we need them, they don’t step up. They shield themselves with cheap excuses and they don’t really support our community,” said Maria Antonieta Diaz, a Venezuelan business owner from South Florida, on Exitos Radio.
“However, Senator Marco Rubio, more concerned about national political games and the future of his career than about his constituents, ignores the voices of the state calling for him to support the SECURE Act that opens the path to citizenship for more than 60,000 Venezuelan immigrants with TPS. In other words, he is again appealing to the country’s far-right Republicans looking for votes to reach the next rung in his political career.
Turn your back on those who need it – that seems to be his slogan…Personally, I’m not surprised, as his career in Congress for the past six years speaks for itself. In the past five years alone, Rubio has voted to grant massive tax cuts to America’s wealthiest corporations, to repeal Obamacare and deprive millions of Floridians of access to health care, and for a budget amendment that would have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from Social Security and Medicare…It is evident that he does not empathize with the populations that need him most,” wrote former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.