Marisol Cardenas / Hobbs Resident
As a young Hispanic woman and triple minority, I have experienced racism, ageism and sexism. As a mother of a young girl, I worry about social problems like income inequality for women, among other issues like education and crime. I was disappointed to see the recent attempt to attack (Republican gubernatorial candidate) Rep. Steve Pearce as racist simply because he’s willing to address the challenges minorities face in New Mexico.
Pearce is not perfect, as is no politician or candidate. One thing he is not is racist. I know him personally, and I believe he is the right person to lead our state forward. He will help to create a better future for all the diverse citizens of our great state for whom he cares and loves.
I first met the congressman in the late summer of 2013 at a town hall meeting. I was invited to attend by a friend who was part of an immigrant rights group. Being an immigrant myself, and knowing several students and their families who needed a solution to their immigration status, I agreed. The immigrant rights group had about 30 members present, consisting mainly of housewives and working-class men. I had met with the group a couple of times prior, and it quickly became apparent that I was one of the few individuals who spoke English fluently, or at all, and perhaps the only one willing to speak publicly.
At the town hall, the immigrant rights group, all Hispanics, sat on the right side of the room. The other attendees, who were mainly Caucasians, sat on the left. I asked several questions. At one point, an Anglo man from the opposing side began yelling while I was speaking, saying things like, “Go back to Mexico.” I continued speaking, but he persisted to interrupt and yell. Pearce stepped in and put a stop to his interjections, allowing me to voice multiple questions.
I also had the opportunity to speak to the congressman further on the topic after the town hall was over. I had been waiting, for as long as I can remember, for immigration reform that wasn’t passing Congress because one party proposed amnesty and the other deportation. I was impressed by Pearce’s humble and respectful demeanor and by his common-sense solutions for immigration. His willingness to engage with both sides and his middle-ground approach to this problem seemed like a compromise both parties could actually support.
Since that town hall, I have watched Pearce’s work closely. It is clear to me that his actions align with the statements I heard that day. He is truly an advocate for all New Mexicans, including our immigrant and minority communities. I trust that as governor he will continue to stand up for all people.
Having experienced immigration firsthand, I empathize with this community and its struggles. I came to the United States with my family at age 7. Seeing my7-year-old daughter now reminds me of that pivotal point in my life when I first arrived in my new home, the magnificent state of New Mexico. It was a real miracle for us to leave the poverty in Mexico for the chance of a better life. We left our friends and family behind, but God and life have been incredibly good to us. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities provided to us in New Mexico, but I also know that our state can do better for our minority communities. It will require leadership and a willingness to openly discuss problems and solutions. As governor, Steve Pearce will provide that leadership. I hope you will join me in supporting him with your vote.