Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is currently a senator in his home state of Florida, but there's more to Rubio's story of growing up in America with immigrant parents than just settling in Miami. Rubio's tale is one of movement and transformation. The third of four children, Rubio was born in 1971 in Miami, just 15 years after his parents had fled Cuba. Rubio initially stated that his parents had left the country under the Castro regime amid major political unrest, but then information was brought to light regarding his parents' immigrant visas show that they left during a different dictator's regime; that of Fulgencio Batista.
Rubio's parents were looking to better their situation financially rather than flee political unrest, which is still a completely valid experience. The experience of his mother and father seeking a better life in America helped shape Rubio as well as his siblings. It's an experience that many voters felt he embellished a bit too strongly but that Rubio says is still pivotal to his view of the country, especially politically. In fact, it may be one of the biggest reasons Rubio advocates for small government. Rubio told GQ in a December 2012 interview:
I was raised in a community of people who were told that if government had more power it could equalize things and it could give them more than others, and at the minimum undo some of the unfair things that had been done to them, and they were very skeptical of that given the experience that they had had.
That continued desire to better themselves may have prompted Rubio's parents to make a temporary move to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he spent a little more than five years starting when he was 8 years old. The experience was a transformational one, turning Rubio temporarily Mormon. He later returned to his Catholic roots upon coming back to Miami in his teen years and holds strong Catholic ideals to this day.
Rubio's college years were initially spent at Tarkio College in Missouri and Santa Fe College in Florida, but he soon returned to the University of Florida and then moved onto the University of Miami for his J.D. Rubio's political career has been based solely in the Sunshine State. It's where he met his wife and where he is currently raising four kids. According to his Senate biography, he ended up settling just four blocks from his childhood home in West Miami.
Image: Getty Images (1)