By Gaby Pacheco, a nationally recognized immigrant rights leader
I think to myself, “Why does Martin O’Malley speak about immigration so much?”
Why does he care if the debates and other candidates never bring it up?
Why would he go to Arizona and size-up the hateful Sheriff Joe Arpaio?
Why would he break bread with, protest with, meet with so many undocumented families and friends even if the news didn’t pick it up?
Why would he, months before Hillary and Bernie, have a detailed plan on immigration?
Why, as Governor, did he stand up for Central American child refugees when President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton didn’t? Why does he tweet in Spanish so that my parents can be engaged in conversation?
And why does he take the 10 seconds given to him at a debate to talk about our fellow citizens on the island of Puerto Rico when he knows their votes, unjustly, don’t count.
I've been watching Martin O’Malley since 2011. I think his failures and triumphs as Mayor and later governor of Maryland humbled him. His record shows he is guided by principle, and he’s not afraid to go against the establishment. I was there when immigrant advocates e-mailed each other in disbelief that someone would challenge both the President and the Secretary of State on how we were treating refugee children. We hadn’t seen anything like it.
His campaign’s heart beats with ours. His immigration plan was created by us, by listening and talking to us, those that no one ever talks to.
Mothers and ‘jornaleros,’ activists and folks on the ground, out in the states, were directly involved in creating his immigration platform and continue to make it better.
He isn't afraid to look beyond what’s popular politically and really see what is wrong with our country; the injustices we are ignoring.
I'm supporting Martin O'Malley because if it weren’t for him, there would be no discussion of immigration in the Democratic Party.
The immigration issue is affecting my family and me directly, and O’Malley understands that.
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