In the wake of the 2012 election defeat, the Republican establishment commissioned a report to determine what the Republican Party needs to do to win national elections in the future.  According to this “autopsy report,” the Washington Cartel wants us to believe that in order for Republicans to be competitive in national elections, we ought to act like Democrats and support amnesty. Their rationale is that only by supporting amnesty and a pathway to citizenship, will the growing Hispanic electorate support Republicans. 

Marco Rubio was to be the face of this new approach, and in the process the final nail in the coffin of grassroots conservatives who obstruct the Republican Establishment’s donor class oriented agenda. In Rubio, they found a tea-party darling who went to Washington only to surround himself with lobbyists and insiders as his advisors; so much so that even Rubio’s slogan of a “New American Century” was taken from the Project for a New American Century, a neoconservative think tank of Washington insiders pushing for Wilsonian big government domestic policy and unprovoked large-scale military intervention abroad. 

When Marco Rubio was campaigning for his senate position, he repeatedly promised that he would “never support amnesty.” In 2013, Rubio broke that promise and coauthored a bill that would not only grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, but also provide them a pathway to citizenship. Rubio had been convinced by the insiders that he surrounded himself with that the grassroots conservative’s influence in the Republican Party was over.  He was wrong, and once he saw his error, he cut and ran from the legislation he authored and promoted.

We deserve a consistent conservative

Ted Cruz has consistently stood with the millions of conservatives who passionately defend the rule of law and understand that a weak immigration system that rewards rule-breakers, does not only threaten our national security, but runs counter to American values. His principled position AGAINST amnesty, unlike that of my home-town senator – Rubio, has not only earned Cruz the respect of millions of Americans, but will also lead to him dominating the Hispanic vote in 2016.

The assumption behind the push for amnesty and a pathway to citizenship that rewards the breaking of our laws is that Hispanic Americans (voters) are not normal Americans and cannot be conservatives like millions of other Americans.  It is an insult to Hispanic American voters.

Cruz, Rubio, and I are all sons of immigrants that came to this country to be part of a unique experiment in democracy – one that our founders always knew that, if not vigilantly protected, was one generation away from extinction. We are just a few of the millions of Americans with roots from countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others, whose governments have overthrown the rule of law and whose people do not have the freedoms to pursue their dreams of a better future. The vast majority of Hispanic Americans are here legally – working hard and benefiting greatly from a country that is supposed to respect the rule of law.  

Many serve proudly in the armed forces; some even become leading presidential candidates. What we value most is not pandering and big-government policies that our people fled from in their countries. What we value is liberty. Usurping the American Constitutional system that ensures liberty is a slap in the face to the millions who’ve followed the rules, waited in lines, and bore the costs of legally immigrating.

At the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses, Rubio complained that Cruz goes around calling other Republicans “RINOs’” (short for Republican in Name Only).  However, what he doesn’t seem to understand yet is that it’s not Cruz calling him that, it’s the millions of grassroots conservatives, including many from his hometown of Miami, who feel betrayed by his push for amnesty.

Only in Washington can a career politician like Rubio get away with baselessly accusing Cruz of flip-flopping on immigration.

Our time

Ronald Reagan famously said there comes “a time for choosing.” When that defining moment came in 2013, Rubio turned his back on conservatives by joining liberal Chuck Schumer as a sponsor of the Gang of Eight amnesty bill.

Cruz, on the other hand, showed principled leadership and respect for the rule of law.  The millions of Hispanics who became citizens without a blanket amnesty law will respect and support someone who stands for his principles while steadfastly promoting constitutional government and the rule of law. 

Cruz will re-establish the American Constitutional system that grants millions of Hispanic Americans the liberty and freedom to pursue their dreams, not recreate the poverty and lawlessness that many of our parents fled.

This is why Ted Cruz will win the Hispanic vote in 2016.

Manny Roman is Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Miami-Dade and Adjunct Professor of International Business at Florida International University (FIU). His opinions are his own and not on behalf of any organization.

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