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How Marco Rubio’s Mom Influenced Him on Immigration Reform

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida may be a rising star in the Republican Party, but he still takes his mother’s advice to heart.

In an interview with Time magazine, Rubio said his mother, Oriales Garcia Rubio, left him a voicemail in December that urged him to tread cautiously when it came to undocumented immigrants, whom she called “los pobrecitos,” Spanish for “the poor things.”

“Tony, some loving advice from the person who cares for you most in the world,” Rubio’s mother said in Spanish in a voicemail played for Time magazine. “Don’t mess with the immigrants, my son. Please, don’t mess with them.

“They’re human beings just like us, and they came for the same reasons we came. To work. To improve their lives. So please, don’t mess with them,” she said.

Rubio, who introduced a plan for immigration reform as part of a bipartisan “gang of 8″ senators last week, said that his mother’s voicemail reinforced to him the need to address the “human element” involved in immigration reform.

“I have to balance that humanity with reality,” he said. “We have immigration laws. They have to be followed. But yeah, she reminded me that there’s a human element to this as well. As a policymaker, you have to strike a balance.”

Rubio’s family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the 1950s, and Rubio often recounts the struggles his parents faced when they first came here and the sacrifices they made for their children.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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