Tim Padgett, who is Time magazine's Miami and Latin America bureau chief, has a vastly interesting read on Marco Rubio's smart repackaging of his Dream Act from an immigration to a humanitarian mission.
More specifically, how Rubio has likened potential Dream Act beneficiaries to "Cuban refugees."
Rubio may have helped narrow the uneasy gap between Cubans and the rest of Latinos.
That’s because he took the unprecedented step of comparing the designated beneficiaries of the DREAM Act – who are mostly of Mexican, Central and South American descent – to “Cuban refugees,” who receive preferential immigration treatment because they’re escaping the Castro dictatorship.
Padgett notes that this is important, because many non-Cuban Hispanics have long been jealous of the special benefits Cuban exiles have received.
Thus, putting the two on equal ground potentially breaks new ground in easing tensions between the two (emphasis added).
Many non-Cuban Latinos are likely to be impressed with the way Rubio is now framing the DREAM discussion.
Perhaps most important, they’re likely to see it as a welcome departure from a Cuban-American attitude of exclusivity.
For decades, groups like Mexicans, Guatemalans and Colombians – some fleeing political and economic conditions as brutal as communist Cuba’s – have stewed while watching Cubans avail themselves of special rules like “wet-foot-dry-foot.”
That’s short hand for the odd code that allows Cubans fleeing the island to get a green card and a path to citizenship if they make it onto American soil before the Coast Guard apprehends them in the Florida Straits.