During his campaign, Marco Rubio has stood for stricter immigration policy and has argued that the U.S. should not accept refugees from Syria and Iraq because of their threat to national security.
And yet, Rubio’s own grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia, benefited from compassionate immigration policies that Rubio now seeks to eliminate.
Garcia tried entering the United in States in 1962, almost three years since he had last visited the country for the first time. Without necessary credentials, Garcia had to plea in court for permission to stay in the country.
In the video above, you can hear the court case unfold. Garcia argued that he escaped an oppressive government out of fear for his safety. But since Garcia had previously worked with the communist Cuban government, immigration officials worried that he could be a threat to national security. Garcia assured the officials that his government was only a means to support himself, and that he was not sympathetic towards communism. The immigration officer did not accept his plea and instead ordered him to be deported.
What we don’t know is why the decision changed. According to the paperwork, after the court made its decision, someone in the immigration office changed their mind and granted Garcia status as a parolee. This meant that he could not get a green card, but could still stay in the United States for the time being.
This kind of leniency wouldn’t be allowed under Rubio’s policies. Rubio has acknowledged that his family’s story conflicts with what he fights for today. But he has said that the current state of terrorism makes the situation with refugees and immigrants different today.
Immigration records also found that two aunts and an uncle of Rubio’s were admitted as refugees in the past.
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