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Reported Deportation Order For Marco Rubio's Grandfather Sparks New Debate

Posted: 04/25/2012 2:15 pm Updated: 04/25/2012 4:13 pm

Marco Rubio
Sen. Marcio Rubio, R- FL, a potential GOP vice presidential pick, faces new information about family's immigration history. An immigration court ordered Rubio's grandfather deported in 1962. However, Rubio's grandfather did not leave the country.

A new book examining the life of Sen. Marco Rubio, will indicate that the Tea Party Republican and possible GOP vice presidential pick, may have a more intimate understanding of life under the shadow of potential deportation than some of his critics think.

In 1962, an immigration court ordered Rubio’s grandfather, a Cuban refugee, deported, according to excerpts from a soon-to-be-released Rubio biography published by The Politico on Tuesday. Despite the court’s order, Rubio’s maternal grandfather, Pedro Victor Garcia, did not leave the country, according to the report.

Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia penned the biography, "The Rise of Marco Rubio”, which is slated for release in June. If Roig Franzia's claims prove true, the deportation order revelation will mark the second time that the reporter has reshaped the public’s understanding of Rubio, his family and their immigration experience.

Last year, Roig-Franzia reported information that directly contradicted Rubio’s own accounts of his parents' escape from communist Cuba. Roig-Franzia found that Rubio’s parents left Cuba for Miami in 1956, nearly three years before Fidel Castro seized power on New Year's Day 1959.

The difference: Rubio’s version cast him as the son of exiles and part of a Cuban diaspora displaced by a communist regime and forced to make a new life in the United States. Roig-Franzia’s’ findings detail a less evocative immigrant experience.

In a statement released Tuesday, Rubio described the book’s revelations as proof of his grandfather’s “bold actions to escape Castro’s Cuba after the Bay of Pigs. The tale of his grandfather’s desperate escape from Castro’s Cuba is the quintessential exile story.”

The book contains significant contradictions and factual errors, Rubio said in his statement.

The Roig-Franzia book indicates that Garcia was ordered deported after attempting to reenter the United States from Cuba. Garcia returned to Cuba for a short time to work – a move that would be atypical for Cuban refugees in the 1960s, according to the Roig-Franzia book.

The revelation in "The Rise of Marco Rubio" may boost Rubio’s standing with some portions of the Latino electorate in the Southeast and Southwest where Rubio is little known and does not enjoy broad support. It may also “increase scrutiny” of Rubio as a potential running mate for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The publishers of Rubio’s autobiography, “An American Son” moved the book’s release date to June in order to beat the Roig-Franzia autobiography to book store shelves, The Politico reported last week. “An American Son” had been slated for publication in October.

Also on HuffPost:

SLIDESHOW: Top Latino Moments In Republican Primary
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  • Self-Deportation

    If not the most memorable moment of the run-up to the Florida GOP primary, the most comical one had to be Mitt Romney's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/self-deportation-romney_n_1228296.html" target="_hplink">oxymoronic addition</a> to the English language: self-deportation. At a Florida debate and in response to a question regarding if whether to enforce his position on illegal immigration, he would support mass deportations, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/mitt-romney-florida-gop-debate-self-deportation_n_1227129.html" target="_hplink">Romney answered</a> "Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here." Romney's use of the term 'self-deportation' and his genuine belief in it as a viable means to deal with the 13 million undocumented immigrants who would not be allowed to remain in the U.S., led to substantial social media outcry, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/gingrich-romney-self-deportation-plan_n_1230987.html" target="_hplink">an attack by his primary opponent, Newt Gingrich</a> (to be expected), and a measure of agreement from fellow candidate Rick Santorum. Amazing.

  • Newt Gingrich At Café Versailles

    Newt Gingrich didn't waste any time in 2012. In early January, he visited Little Havana's Café Versailles restaurant, a traditional stop for politicians looking to rally support among Miami's Cuban-American population. Gingrich drank Cuban coffee and conversed with the restaurant staff, who by now must be used to politicians stopping by to score points among Latino voters. Strangely enough, they <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/01/in-miami-caffeinated-newt-gingrich-talks-learning-english-cuba-and-chats-with-marco-rubios-dentist-a.html" target="_hplink">applauded once he was finished with his coffee</a>. GIngrich didn't miss a beat and told his audience how President of the U.S. his goal will be "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/14/gingrich-republican-candidates-florida_n_1205463.html" target="_hplink">to create a Cuban Spring that is even more exciting than the Arab Spring.</a>" He also talked about this stance on immigration, which he qualifies as <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/01/in-miami-caffeinated-newt-gingrich-talks-learning-english-cuba-and-chats-with-marco-rubios-dentist-a.html" target="_hplink">more "humane" than the positions of his GOP primary opponents</a>. Nothing like spicy politicking to go with your <em>café con leche</em>.

  • The 'Three Amigos' Endorse Mitt Romney

    An crucial moment in the Florida race was the endorsement of Mitt Romney by Florida's self-proclaimed <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/29/us-usa-politics-romney-idUSTRE7AS1XZ20111129" target="_hplink">"three amigos," </a>Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Miami Herald calls this the <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/28/2522516/romney-picks-up-key-south-florida.html" target="_hplink">"ultimate Cuban-American endorsement trifecta</a>." But this too led to controversy as these three Cuban-American politicians who now support Romney's candidacy -- and its conservative approach to immigration reform and threatened DREAM act veto -- have track records as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/mitt-romney-florida-latino-republicans_n_1233613.html?ref=latino-politics" target="_hplink">advocates for comprehensive immigration reform and passing the DREAM Act</a>. "Those three in particular have had a history of supporting measures like the DREAM Act ... but everyone wants stability in the Republican party and they likely think Romney is the most likely to provide that," said Kristian Ramos, a policy director at the NDN & New Policy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/mitt-romney-florida-latino-republicans_n_1233613.html?ref=latino-politics" target="_hplink">to The Huffington Post</a>. In the 2008 primary the trio endorsed Sen. John McCain -- over Romney -- due in part to his own advocacy for immigration reform.

  • NextGen Latino GOPers

    A new generation of Latino leaders is emerging in Florida politics. Cuban-American senator, Marco Rubio, is undoubtedly the most well-known figure in this new emerging political group. "Obviously, probably Marco Rubio is on the top of the list in terms of young Hispanics leading the effort in the state," conservative activist Jeb Bush Jr., the son of Florida's former governor and nephew of former President George W. Bush, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/florida-primary-2012-latinos-gop_n_1236450.html?ref=latino-voices" target="_hplink">told The Huffington Post.</a> Rubio's name comes up in every list of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/marco-rubio-vp-gop-candidates-florida-primary_n_1233480.html" target="_hplink">possible vice presidential candidates</a>. Thus far, however, he has <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/marco-rubio-the-big-get-i_n_1224646.html" target="_hplink">remained neutral</a> in the primary race. Other Latinos who are gaining influence in Florida's Republican and conservative circles include <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/florida-primary-2012-latinos-gop_n_1236450.html?ref=latino-voices" target="_hplink">Rep. David Rivera, who's backing cNewt Gingrich, Florida House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera and state Rep. Erik Fresen.</a>

  • Latino Vote Takes Center Stage At CNN's GOP Debate

    Last Thursday's GOP debate confirmed that the Latino vote is a dominant factor in the Florida primary. From the earliest moments of the debate, issues such as immigration reform, the DREAM Act, relations with Cuba, Puerto Rico's status, Latinos who could serve in a Republican Cabinet, and more were catnip to the candidates who were each seeking to wow the audience. Gingrich stood strong in his attack that Romney is the most "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/mitt-romney-newt-gingrich-immigration-florida-debate_n_1235344.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">anti-immigrant</a>" candidate in the GOP race. Romney defended himself by calling the comments "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/mitt-romney-newt-gingrich-immigration-florida-debate_n_1235344.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">inflammatory and inappropriate</a>." Romney then went on to criticize a Gingrich TV ad as an example of "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/mitt-romney-newt-gingrich-immigration-florida-debate_n_1235344.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">over the top rhetoric</a>." The debate turned to focus on Cuba a few times, with Romney saying, "It is time for us to strike for freedom in Cuba, and I will do so as president." Gingrich, who had appeared earlier at Florida International University, reiterated his <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/01/25/newt-gingrich-criticizes-obama-chavez-and-castro-in-florida-talk/" target="_hplink">support for a 'Cuban Spring'</a> if he is elected president.

  • Gingrich's Spanish-Language Radio Bomb Throwing

    In an effort to win the Latino vote, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/newt-gingrich-spanish-lan_n_1217435.html?ref=latino-politics" target="_hplink">Newt Gingrich came out with a radio ad in Spanish</a> perfectly attuned to the local audience in his reiterated stance against the Castro brothers' regime in Cuba. Comically, the ad also tried to associate Mitt Romney to the local hatred of Cuba's regime, by criticizing Romney's 2008 use of a phrase often associated with Fidel Castro, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/newt-gingrich-spanish-lan_n_1217435.html?ref=latino-politics" target="_hplink">"patria o muerte, venceremos," which translates to "fatherland or death, we shall overcome."</a> But, perhaps aware that further down the road, other Latino voters will be more interested in immigration reform than Cuban relations, Gingrich went for broke and <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/01/in-miami-newt-gingrich-goes-up-on-spanish-language-radio-bashing-mitt-romney.html" target="_hplink"> labeled Mitt Romney as 'anti-immigrant'</a> in the ad.

  • Romney's Son Tries To Help Papa Romney Connect With Latino Voters

    While campaigning in Hialeah, Florida, Romney gave the crowd what they wanted to hear, speaking forcefully of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/29/mitt-romney-pitch-cuban-americans_n_1240511.html?ir=Latino Voices&ref=latino-voices" target="_hplink">need to defeat the current dictators in Cuba and Venezuela.</a> So far, so good. But then he asked his young son, Craig, to speak to the mostly Cuban-American crowd in Spanish. Stepping up to the mic, Craig said, "<a href="http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/01/29/sheldon-alberts-hispanics-could-give-florida-to-romney-white-house-to-obama/" target="_hplink">Mi papá no habla español.</a>"

  • Candidates Make Their Case For Latino Conservatives

    At January's Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami, both Gingrich and Romney delivered speeches with the express aim of attracting the conservative Latino voter, specifically Florida's Cuban-Americans. Romney spoke passionately about freedom, which is a key issue for Cubans in the U.S. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/mitt-romney-newt-gingrich-latinos_n_1237063.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">given that so many fled the authoritarian Castro regime in Cuba</a>. Gingrich also spoke about freedom, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/mitt-romney-newt-gingrich-latinos_n_1237063.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">and tried to outdo Romney with his vocal support for a 'Cuban spring'</a> and regime change in the island some 90 miles away.

  • Ron Paul On Immigration

    Distancing himself from the harsh, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fernando-espuelas/in-republican-debates-ide_b_1220288.html" target="_hplink">anti-immigrant rhetoric that's characterized this year's Republican primaries</a>, Ron Paul voiced a clear and more compassionate view regarding the subject during a conference in Nevada, where the Texas congressman said he favors a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/ron-paul-immigration-nevada-caucus-2012_n_1247589.html" target="_hplink">policy that doesn't rely on "barbed-wire fences and guns on our border."</a> Paul criticized politicians for blaming immigrants for the current economic situation in the country. "When things go badly, individuals look for scapegoats," Paul said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/ron-paul-immigration-nevada-caucus-2012_n_1247589.html" target="_hplink">according to the Huffington Post</a>. "Hispanics, the immigrants who have come in, are being used as scapegoats." He went on to compare the current anti-immigrant rhetoric to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/ron-paul-immigration-nevada-caucus-2012_n_1247589.html" target="_hplink">Nazi Germany's targeting of Jews in the 1930s.</a> Paul said he was against laws that would require people to carry around identity papers to prove their legal status in the country.

  • John McCain Urges GOP Candidates To Adopt More Humane Approach To Immigration

    In an interview with Univision, Sen. John McCain said that Republican candidates should adopt a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/john-mccain-mitt-romney-self-deportation_n_1257368.html" target="_hplink">"very humane approach" to immigration in order to secure Latino votes.</a> McCain, who endorsed Mitt Romney earlier this year has since distanced himself from the candidate's stance on immigration and even <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/john-mccain-mitt-romney-self-deportation_n_1257368.html" target="_hplink"> publicly criticized Romney's "self-deportation" plan.</a> McCain, like Romney, opposes the DREAM Act.

  • Romney Names Immigration Hard Liner As Honorary Chairman

    Romney named former Governor Pete Wilson-- a well known immigration hard-liner-- as Honorary Chairman of his California campaign. "I'm honored to have Governor Pete Wilson's support, because he's one of California's most accomplished leaders," Romney said on his website <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/02/06/mitt-romney-names-former-gov-pete-wilson-immigration-hardliner-as-honorary/" target="_hplink">as reported by Fox News Latino.</a> "As governor of California from 1991 to 1999, he led California from the depths of recession to prosperous economic recovery." But former Gov. Wilson is not only remembered for his economic policies, but also for his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/mitt-romney-immigration-antonio-villaraigosa_n_1262552.html/" target="_hplink">hostile stance against undocumented immigrants in the mid 90s.</a> Wilson supported <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/harsh-immigration-laws_n_1073576.html" target="_hplink">Proposition 187</a> in 1994, which essentially blamed undocumented immigrants for the poor performance of the state's economy. The law called for cutting off benefits to undocumented immigrants: prohibiting their access to health care, public education, and other social services in California. Prop 187 was ultimately blocked by federal court.

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