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Political Mercury

Rubio ‘callous’ on immigration


Marco Rubio wants to change the very immigration system that allowed his family to migrate to the United States from Cuba.

And the Republican presidential candidate’s call in the CNBC debate last week for a move from immigration based on family ties to a merit evaluation won’t sit well with the Latino community, says Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County (Illinois) Commissioner whose progressive campaign forced a

“It seems rather inconsistent and callous because I think immigration in America has always had a connection to family,” Garcia, a Chicago political veteran who drew national attention with his challenge to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in an interview with Political Mercury in Des Moines on Saturday.

Ending family chain migration abruptly doesn’t make sense, Garcia said.

“Family is a great connector of people who are being productive and contributing to this country,” Garcia said. “While it shouldn’t be the only factor in determining who can come here, it has to remain one of the central facets of our immigration system.”

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Garcia, who dramatically boosted Latino turnout in his mayoral bid, said it is going to be challenging for Rubio to maintain his position on immigration.

“It may be beneficial to him in winning the Republican nomination,” Garcia said. “But in a general election, it will come back to bite him.”

The topic of uniting families is “near and dear” to Latinos, Garcia said.

In the CNBC debate, Rubio called for a major overhaul to the immigration system.

“Today, we have a legal immigration system for permanent residency that is largely based on whether or not you have a relative living here,” Rubio said. “And that’s the way my parents came legally in 1956. But in 2015, we have a very different economy. Our legal immigration system from now on has to be merit-based. It has to be based on what skills you have, what you can contribute economically.”

Garcia attended the League of United Latin American Citizens dinner and awards banquet at the Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn where he, among other things, advocated for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Sanders doesn’t take money from Super PACs, and that’s key, Garcia said in a speech.

“Big special interests have come to dominate politics in our country,” he said, adding that he has been a “long-time admirer” of Sanders’ politics.

  • • •

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a fierce voice in the anti-abortion movement for three decades in public life, called China’s break from its one-child policy a major victory for not just the “pro-life” movement, but women internationally.

“It’s the biggest day for women in maybe the history of women,” Santorum said in an interview with Political Mercury last Thursday afternoon. “Most of the kids killed in China today are girls.”

The well-chronicled infanticide results in gender imbalance in China now, a “bare branch” phenomenon in which many men remain single based on lack of available of partners — which, Santorum said, “is a real scary thought given the bellicose nature in recent times of what China has been talking about.”

The Chinese Communist Party, reacting to concerns about its labor force and an aging population, last Thursday ended the one-child policy, originally installed in the 1970s under Deng Xiaoping. The restriction led to the widespread murder of girls, especially in rural areas. Married Chinese couples will be able to have two children with the new plan.

“There’s a much better chance that that first girl is not going to be drowned or aborted or whatever the case may be,” Santorum said. “They’re going to have that child and then take their chances on child No. 2 being a boy.”

In future generations, the presence of more women in China can’t be anything but good for international relations, said the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

“It’s a great day for the pro-life movement,” Santorum said. “It’s a great day for women.” CV

Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who resides in Carroll. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.

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