Last night on Latino Rebels Radio, our host @julito77 spoke with Blanca Hernández, an immigrant rights activist who made national news for interrupting President Obama at a speech he gave last Thursday at the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Institute Gala in Washington, D.C.
On Friday, Hernández, a DACA recipient, wrote an opinion piece about Thursday’s event. This is her concluding statement:
Our communities continue to be terrorized by the deportation machine and children continue to be separated from their parents. This year’s Congressional class has the most Latinos in history and the most deportations as well. And so far, the former has yet to exercise its power to stop the latter. And so it was impossible for me to stay in my seat last night.
Those around me last night may have been uncomfortable with my speaking out, some even shushed. But their uneasiness should have been directed at a celebration with the President who had just broke his promise but still expected our applause.
As inconvenient as it can be, you know you’re speaking the truth when it “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.” It’s how we won DACA. It’s how we’ve moved the President to the promise of further executive action. And it’s what was being said by the families outside the black tie affair who simply want their loved ones home again. The fact that the President was on stage instead of the heroes who have overcome their fear, endured such suffering, and still came to the gala to be heard is exactly why I had to speak out and why the protests will continue until undocumented people have their rightful place on stage at our celebrations, at the table in our negotiations, and fully included in the country they call home.
After Hernández shared her thoughts last night on the radio, the topic shifted to a Presente.org campaign to not vote for four Democratic senators who voted with Republicans Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions to open up a debate about removing DACA from the books. In an opinion piece for TIME, Presente’s Arturo Carmona wrote the following:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. This historical moment demands a new approach: a strategy for changing the nation’s terroristic immigration policy that recognizes that the Democratic Party is not our friend simply because so many members of the Republican Party have shown themselves, in no uncertain terms, to be our enemy.
Latino political power must begin and end with the independence of the Latino vote. It’s time to drop Democratic Party affiliations, and ask the Democrats to work for our votes.
We can’t afford to continue buying into the false choice presented to us by the two dominant parties. That’s why Presente Action has chosen to encourage Latino voters and our allies to turn out in force for the November elections but not vote for the Dirty Four Senators who betrayed our community so publicly and so shamefully: Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor and Jeanne Shaheen.
Confronted with broken promises, if Democrats want our votes, they should damn well have to work for them.