Following the Senate’s passage of immigration legislation on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivered the closing argument for the bill. He used his parents’ immigration story in an attempt to win over critics and rally supporters.

Marco Rubio, who’s contemplating a presidential run in 2016, told his parents’ story of boarding a plane leaving Cuba in 1956 and struggling to find stable footing here. His mother wept when “her president,” John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963, he said.

“Well before they became citizens, in their hearts they had already become Americans,” said Rubio, whose role in the legislation has ignited a backlash from the same Tea Party conservatives that once made him their hero.

Marco Rubio Delivers Closing Argument for Immigration Bill

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Senate chamber for a vote, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 6, 2013. Credit: AP

 

Rubio went on:

Here they brought their language and their customs. Their religions and their music. And somehow, made them ours as well. From a collection of people from everywhere, we became one people. The most exceptional nation in human history.

And even with all our challenges, we remain the shining city on the hill. We are still the hope of the world.

Go to our factories and fields. Go to our kitchens and construction sites. Go to the cafeteria of this very Capitol. There, you will find that the miracle of America still lives.

For here, in America, those who once had no hope, will give their children the life they once wanted for themselves.

Here, in America, generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally come to pass.

I support this reform.

Not just because I believe in immigrants, but because I believe in America even more.

Watch the video below:

It is unclear whether Rubio’s emotional appeal will change any hearts, but some, like Hot Air’s Allahpundit, are unimpressed.

“This speech isn’t aimed at you and me,” the blogger writes. “We’re ideologues, and he kissed off the ideologues when he decided to support an amnesty bill. It’s aimed at the majority who pay attention to the news one or two hours a week, like the idea of bipartisan compromise and comprehensive immigration reform even though they really don’t know what’s in the bill, and will enjoy listening to a fluid hopeful communicator like Rubio talk about the promise and glory of America as a contrast to stiffs like McCain and Romney.”

“The guy knows who his audience is, and he knows what he’s doing. That’s the one consolation for border hawks if he ends up as nominee — he’ll certainly, certainly be better at getting his message out than the last few nominees were. Who knows? Instead of losing 73 percent of the Latino vote next time, we might only lose 65.”

 

(H/T: Blaze Blog)