Editorial note: The office of Rep. Steve Pearce has been invited to provide a response to the following Local Viewpoints article.
Over fifty immigrant families, activists, and allies staged a protest today at Congressman Pearce's Roswell office, an action that coincides with a series of protests targeting 27 other House Republicans across the country. Protesters rallied with a unified message: the future of the Republican party hinges on its ability to ignore extremist anti-immigrant views and get a workable immigration reform done this year.
Arturo Donlucas from Hobbs told Pearce's staff on Wednesday: "We need Congressman Pearce to push Speaker Bohner, Eric Cantor and other obstructionists in the House to get reform done. Immigrant oil and gas workers and their families from his district need it. 61% of Republicans support it. And Latino voters demand it!"
While Congressman Steve Pearce claims to support immigration reform, his actual voting record proves otherwise. One year ago, he voted to defund DACA and essentially deport DREAMers. He voted for the ENFORCE Act, which sought to limit the President's ability to stay deportations. And just last week, he voted for an amendment sponsored by anti-immigrant extremist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to defund law enforcement agencies in cities that choose not to utilize local resources to deport its residents.
"Pearce is trying to trick voters into thinking he supports immigrants. The reality is that he keeps voting to deport our families from his district," said Marina Piña an organizer with Somos and resident of Roswell "Latino voters will not be fooled. We will expose his hypocrisy. If he supports solutions, he will pressure his leadership to do something now."
Evelyn Saguaan, a 22-year old who has lived in Roswell since she was 2 years old and has two US citizen daughters sent this message to Pearce. "I'm here to ask you to help our dreams come true. Let us be free just like you. No more hiding, no more suffering, no more separating families. Don't you see how bad it hurts to be away from your loved ones. Right now you may not care, but what if it was your family you were being separated from?"
María Martinez who has lived in the US for 19 years said at the protest: "My husband works very hard in construction. We are here to demand that Congressman Pearce take bold action, instead of standing in the way of immigration reform. We want him to support the hard working immigrants and families who are vital to the economy of his district. We want to live without fear. Everyone suffers when families are broken."
Just last month, immigrant activists in Pearce's district launched a get-out-the vote campaign. Participants pledged to register thousands of new Latino voters and get them out to the polls.