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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Checking Marco Rubio's claims on farm workforce



PolitiFact Florida fact-checked everything from farm workers to domestic partnerships this week. Hear something that needs a second look? Email us at [email protected]  or chat with us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

The United States does "not have a system through which growers and dairies can bring a workforce legally into the U.S." - Sen. Marco Rubio

Rubio’s basic point here is wrong — there is a program for growers to legally hire foreign workers. However, many farmers find it inadequate, and the program is only for temporary seasonal labor. Dairies, which he singled out, need year-round workers. We rated it Mostly False.

"Agriculture has always required a significant workforce from abroad." - Rubio

Here’s another immigration-related claim from Rubio. Again, we rated it Mostly False. We found Rubio was overgeneralizing how often farms depended on foreign workers throughout American history.

 "The group that supported the president’s health care bill the most? Latinos." - David Plouffe

While polls showed a majority of Latino voters supported the health care law, support for the law among black voters was either strongest or on pace with Hispanics. Continuing the week’s trend in ratings, we went with Mostly False.

Republicans may control the House, but "the majority of (the American people) voted for a Democratic House." - U.S. House minority whip Steny Hoyer

Hoyer is hitting on a popular talking point since the election. If you look at total votes for candidates of the two major parties, he is right that a majority of Americans voted for Democrats. But if you look at votes for all parties, the Democratic advantage is docked to a plurality. We rated it Mostly True.

"In other jurisdictions where (a domestic partnership registry) has been enacted, we have seen that fewer people enter into marriage." - Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops lobbyist Michael Sheedy

Our final check comes from the Florida Legislature, which wrapped its final committee week before the annual 60-day session starting March 5. A bill that would expand domestic partnerships statewide stalled in a committee hearing but not before activists from both sides of the measure had their say. We rated this claim from the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops — an oft-cited line of reasoning among people who oppose alternatives to marriage — as Mostly False. Click through to read why.

[Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 4:26pm]


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