4
| Arizona |

Demonstrators to Arizona Senators McCain, Flake: Fix Immigration, Health Care

Demonstrators to Arizona Senators McCain, Flake: Fix Immigration, Health CareEXPAND
Ray Stern
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Mayela Diaz can do little more than ask for help from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, and mercy from President Donald Trump.

Trump's immigration plan calls for the potential arrest and deportation of any undocumented immigrant suspected of a crime.

That could mean people like Diaz, who's been in the country without authorization for 22 years and has two grown children who are U.S. citizens.

On Wednesday, Diaz and 20 other demonstrators stood on the sidewalk near Flake's office at 2200 East Camelback Road in Phoenix, hoping to get the senator's attention.

Organized by Promise Arizona, the activists and immigrants rallied along busy Camelback Road after the start of rush hour at 3 p.m., decorating the site with yellow balloons and a table with prayer candles.

"We came to talk to Senator Flake, to ask to help us and to continue to support immigrants," Diaz said in Spanish.

Promise Arizona staff member David Ayala-Zamora translated for New Times. "We want to hear his voice as other people are talking about immigration and terrifying immigrants. We want to hear his voice."

Her message for Trump: "If he's happy to have his family all together, why doesn't he give the same opportunity to other families?"

Maria Guerrero, a house cleaner from Phoenix and undocumented immigrant, said she's hopeful that people like herself won't be deported. She's been in the country 20 years and has two U.S.-born children, one in high school, the other in college.

"The only thing we are doing is working hard to keep our families together," she said, also in Spanish. "I have paid taxes. I'm not a criminal."

Petra Falcon, Promise Arizona's executive director, said the demonstration was also timed with the National Day of Congressional Action called by the We Are America campaign.

"We are not going to accept a hate agenda coming out of this administration," she said. "Flake ...  he needs to come and help us fight."

Flake was among the majority of Arizona Congressional delegates who skipped having any kind of town hall or meeting with constituents during Congress' February 18-25 recess, despite the recent ruckus in Washington, D.C.

So was Senator John McCain, whose office is across the street from Flake's, at 2201 East Camelback Road.

There, a group of about a dozen Affordable Care Act supporters gathered at the same time with signs, drawing honks from passing motorists.

"Even though Senator McCain is not here, we want his staff to know his constituents are disappointed," said Erin Connelly of Organizing for Action, which put out a call on its website for people to rally on Wednesday.

Connelly clarified that she wasn't protesting McCain, but rather "the fact that leadership [in Congress] is trying to repeal the health care."

Michael Boylan, holding a sign that said, "Don't Kill Us, Support the ACA," said he believed the ACA, also known as Obamacare, should be expanded so more people are covered.

"People don't always realize how many people would be impacted if they dismantle it," said Boylan, an executive in a local behavioral-health firm.

In other states, town halls by members of Congress on recess stirred up raucous crowds.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.