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Marco Rubio is defending Donald Trump’s Mexico tariff threats, breaking with his Senate GOP colleagues.

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Joe Henderson: A question for Marco Rubio: Where is the love for migrants?

As usual, Rubio seems to want it both ways, depending on who is listening.

The Twitter page for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio declares he is a follower of Christ. He frequently uses that medium to offer words of guidance and inspiration from Holy Scripture.

A couple of days ago, for instance, he quoted from Paul’s letter to the Galatians, noting: “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.”

That’s a noble sentiment, for sure.

The King of Kings declared we’d all be judged one day by how we care “for the least of these.” So, how is Rubio doing these days on that command? It’s a question worth asking amid the growing condemnation for conditions at migrant detention centers – including a privately run facility in Homestead?

That camp, designed to hold 1,300 people, recently was expanded by another thousand beds.

The Miami New Times reported that some children sleep 12 to a room, which is locked at night.

Look, finding a solution to the immigration crisis that spawned all this is important. No one is saying it’s not.

But as the President of the United States prepares for a grand military-style pep rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the Fourth of July, kids are in cages. That seems like a contradiction to me, unworthy of this nation.

You have read the stories about family separation, overcrowding at detention facilities, lack of basic toiletries such as toothbrushes and soap, and so on. Protestors converged outside Rubio’s Florida office on Tuesday to speak out against conditions that have been called inhumane.

For now, this isn’t about immigration policy. It’s about our humanity.

We like to remind everyone that we’re the most powerful nation on Earth. So, are we to believe that there isn’t a better solution to the migrant issue than what the New York Times described as cramming children into a temporary shelter?

Rubio could stamp himself as a leader for the post-Trump era (it’s coming, eventually) by saying, “Now just wait a doggone minute here. This is not how we treat children in this country.”

You know, if some prominent Republicans spoke up forcefully, it might be possible to do two things at once. Leaders could actually, um, lead. They could work toward rational immigration policy, while simultaneously ending the shame of what we see at these detention centers.

As usual, though, Rubio seems to want it both ways, depending on who is listening. He wants to be the humane guy to one crowd and a tough guy to the other.

This is a time for leadership. Why isn’t Marco Rubio demanding that his party and President do much better?

That brings us back to the verse in Galatians that Rubio referenced. The one where Paul writes, “…serve one another through love.”

There’s only one question that matters now.

Would you call this love?

Written By

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.



  1. Nelson

    July 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    They are not migrants, they are ILEGAL immigrants.
    Remember this, a mother leaves her son alone in her car, and when she returned, the police arrest her and separate their children from it.
    Those mothers who come from Central America make their children walk miles and miles, must be declared negligent and be immediately arrest and sent to jail or back home.

    • Can't Stand Hypocrites

      July 2, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Where did your family emigrate from Nelson? What were they fleeing?

      • Michael

        July 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

        They were probably fleeing Nelson but he found them.

    • Allan

      July 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      They are not illegal. They are asylum seekers. That is legal, there is a system to handle them. It’s painfully slow, hence the detention centers.

  2. Dennis Rees

    July 2, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Joe, you are my favorite writer on FLAPOL! One thing you might consider when writing about Marco and his bible verses – you can always interpret them to be a message pushing back on tRump without having to name him. Marco doesn’t have the courage to challenge tRump directly so he does it by quoting the Bible. tRump is the bad guy and Marco is the good guy – God or Jesus or whoever the savior of the moment is. Look around at the latest kerfuffle tRump got himself into and see if you can’t draw a parallel where Marco turns himself into the hero.

  3. John Moore

    July 3, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    We were taught in driver’s ed that every time a driver goes a mile they make three driving errors that are against the law.In fact my friend and I stood on a corner watched and wrote them down as homework.Unless you consider yourself an “illegal” driver you have no right calling human beings that. You hold a baby in your arms and call it illegal.Shame on you.A grown man destroying the young.Your Mama would turn over in her grave, And it is doubtful you will ever reach those Pearly Gates.

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