This morning, two young immigration activists, Carmen Lima, 13, from California, and Jennifer Martinez, 16, from Washington state, ran into Speaker John Boehner at a breakfast spot in DC. Here’s the release from Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) – the video is below, as is the transcript:
This morning, a group of immigrant children, in town as part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and its Keeping Families Together: Youth in Action events this week, intercepted Speaker John Boehner at Pete’s Diner this morning.
While Speaker Boehner declined to sit with them for breakfast, the children told their stories of family separation, caused by the Republican Caucus’ family separation agenda.
Carmen Lima, 13, of California, told Boehner that she could lose her father to deportation and that the family separation practices, held in place by the Speaker’s inaction, are tearing lives apart for thousands of other little girls.
“How would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of ten that you were never coming home?” Lima asked. “That’s what happened to me. I thought I never was going to see my dad again – I cried so hard when my mom told me that at the age of ten.”
“Many kids miss out on years with their parents and families. You said you were a father. Imagine missing out on your kids’ sports games,” said Jennifer Martinez, 16, of Washington state.
Tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11:00 AM, 150 of these children from all across the country will meet with Civil Rights veterans who participated in the Children’s Crusade of 1963 in Birmingham, AL at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St., NE Washington. Following the encounter, they will hold a procession on Capitol Hill so they can make a personal appeal to House GOP leadership, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, about the urgent need to stop family separation.
Here’s the video:
Kudos to Carmen and Jennifer for speaking truth to power with Speaker Boehner. Last week, GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy had to meet with a group of immigration advocates at 11 PM at his office in Bakersfield. Clearly, House Republican leaders cannot duck the immigration issue and the escalation is only going to continue.
Here’s the transcript:
Carmen Lima: Would you join us for breakfast?
John Boehner: No, I’m just going to eat breakfast up here.
CL: Oh, okay. Do you think we can like talk while you wait for your food?
JB: Yeah, sure.
CL: Okay, so hi—I’m Carmen Lima, I’m 13, and you’re a father, right?
CL: So how would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of ten that you were never coming home?
JB: That wouldn’t be good.
JB: That wouldn’t be good.
CL: That’s what happened to me. I thought I was never going to see my dad again because [inaudible]. And I cried so hard when my mom told me that, at the age of ten.
JB: Well, I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done. It’s, uh, you know, not easy—not gonna be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that I’m going to get this done.
CL: So we can count on your vote for immigration reform?
JB: I will try to find a way to move the bill forward. Thanks.
Jennifer Martinez: I just wanted to share something else really quickly. My name is Jennifer Martinez,
I’m 16 years old, and I came from up in Washington on the West Coast, and when I was 12 years old, I left my dad on an airport [inaudible] in Mexico, not knowing if I’d ever see him again. But I was lucky—I wasn’t separated from my dad for longer than a couple months. But many kids don’t get that luck—they miss out on years with their parents, years with family. And imagine—you said you’re a father—imagine missing out on your kids’ football games and soccer games.
JB: [inaudible] I understand.
JM: So we would really, really appreciate it if you would do everything in your power to move this bill forward.
JB: All right. I agree with you. Thank you.
JM: Thank you.
CL: Thank you, Speaker Boehner.