Carlos from Arizona talks about confronting Senator Russell Pearce at an election-day party.
Before this event took place I was with a group of Dreamers marching to the pols to encourage people who hadn’t voted to go out and vote. We had our caps-and-gowns and some had semi-military apparel to show the both aspects of the Dream Act. When we were heading back to the cars we got a call that Sen. John McCain was going to be at a certain location to celebrate his win. So we decided to attend that event to bring awareness to the republicans and to show our presence.
We were not expecting to talk to Sen. Pearce, we approached him as he walked into the event. At first one Dreamer in the group asked a question regarding Prop. 300 and it got a bit rough, especially since the news cameras got around us with microphones and lights; I’m sure he didn’t like that. He was also asked about the change he’s try to make to the 14th amendment, but things didnt go so well since it looked as if we were confronting him. The reason why we had to ask him these questions was to let him know that we are being affected by the laws that are suppose to keep bad people from coming in the country, but it’s affecting us, the great students who want to better this country.
When I spoke to Russel Pearce it was an interesting experience since it happened after we had the rough disscussion as he was walking in. My friend who stayed with me asked me if we should go up to him again, and I felt a bit timid since he looked upset when we had talked to him earlier, but we had to talk to him. That was our purpose, so we went for it. As we approached him we apologized for what had happened earlier and how we had approached him. We asked him if he believed the DREAM Act would pass, and his instant answer was that he couldn’t say if it was or not. He basically said that there has to be a way to keep the bad undocumented people from comming in and keep the good people like us here but it is hard to differentiate, and he said he couldn’t do that overnight.
It was interesting to see both sides of Sen. Pearce: his political side, and his human side. When he was confronted by us, a group of students, and news cameras, he was very different from when my friend and I approached him calmly. I learned that when you talk to people in a manner that allowes them to see your human side, than it will also allow you to see their human side. We told him a little bit about our stories and he seemed moved, especially when my friend started to cry. He even held her hand. I know that what we did was important because what he needed was to meet two people that he is affecting and who are great for this country.
I never thought I was going to have the chance to see Sen. Pearce in person or even to be able to talk to him. i believe immigrant youth, and especially the undocumented youth, should stand up and not be afraid to speak anywhere. We need to be heard and I know that there are many people who would rather listen to us one-on-one rather than seeing a group of students making rallies and protesting. There are many people who are against illegal immigration but they are not against us, as individual.