In a crowded GOP field dominated by immigration debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has always offered one of the most inspiring narratives of achieving the American dream. Rubio’s parents fled Cuba for the United States, working hard to build a better life for their family in a country with more economic opportunity. According to PolitiFact, Rubio’s official Senate biography stated for several years that his parents “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”
That’s the story that Rubio has repeatedly told along the campaign trail, but new documents suggest that his family left Cuba more than two years before Castro took control on New Year's Day, 1959. According to the Washington Post, the documents reveal Rubio’s parents were admitted for permanent residence in 1956, before Castro had returned to Cuba from Mexico. Rubio’s office confirmed those reports, but claimed his family had “always held out the hope and the option of returning to Cuba if things improved.”
Although these documents will change the way some voters perceive Rubio’s trustworthiness, they should have little effect on the narrative of his life. Rubio has simply been retelling the story that’s been passed on by his parents, and it’s not a huge deal if he wasn’t aware of the exact, particular dates they immigrated. The Rubio family still fled Cuba searching for a better life in America, and Rubio’s position on immigration and the American dream will likely remain unchanged.