Teen activist: ‘I feel betrayed’ by Boehner after immigration talk at diner

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 23:01 EDT
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) approached by teen activists [MSNBC]
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Two young immigration activists criticized House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in an interview with All In host Chris Hayes on Wednesday, accusing him of going back on his word regarding the issue following a diner conversation they posted online.

“I feel betrayed,” 13-year-old undocumented student Carmen Lima told Hayes. “I feel like he lied to me. I feel like my story meant nothing to him, which is terrible.”

As Mediaite reported, Lima and 16-year-old Jennifer Martínez approached Boehner at a Washington D.C. diner Wednesday morning and spoke to him while he waited for breakfast, with Lima asking, “How would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of 10 that you were never coming home?”

“That wouldn’t be good,” Boehner answered.

“That’s what happened to me,” Lima responded, explaining that she never thought she would see her father again. At the time, Boehner assured her that he was “trying to find some way” to get an immigration bill through the House, which he said was no easy task.

However, later in the day he vowed to reporters that the bipartisan bill that passed in the Senate earlier this year would not be taken to committee, despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) telling him via Twitter that “with 190 cosponsors on H.R.15 and 28 [Republicans] vowing support,” that the bill would stand a chance of passing.

“I told Boehner my story hoping that maybe it would touch him, maybe he would change his mind a little,” Lima, whose father still faces deportation, told Hayes. “Maybe not like, completely drop to his knees and say, ‘Yes, I’m gonna go do it right now.’ But I hoped he would be honest with me.”

Despite being rebuffed by Boehner, both of the young women told Hayes the matter is far from resolved.

“This is an extension of the Civil Rights Movement,” Martinez, whose parents are undocumented, told Hayes. “It never ended. And it’s not going to stop until we get what we want, which is comprehensive immigration reform.”

“They passed the torch down to us, and now we’re gonna carry it until Boehner says yes,” Lima said, joining in. “We know that Boehner’s gonna have to give in, because politicians, once they see interest, once they see people rallying, and people getting together, united, that’s when politicians have to say, ‘Oh well, we give up.’”

Watch Hayes’ interview with the two teen activists, as aired Wednesday on MSNBC, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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