Pearce confronts DREAM Act students in 2010
I'll have more to say soon about recalled former state Senate President Russell Pearce's Tuesday appearance at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Senate Bill 1070. There was some good stuff in the nearly two hour donnybrook, especially from U.S. Senator from Illinois Dick Durbin, who gave Pearce a bit of a shellacking.
Meanwhile, I thought I'd share this unusual quote from Pearce regarding DREAM Act students, which occurs at about 1:24:19 in the C-Span video of the hearing:
"I've met with these students at ASU," Pearce tells Durbin. "I've met with a bunch of them that are in that status, and we even shared some tears together. Some of them are wonderful kids. And I don't know how you carve out -- the way this bill works it's always a blanket for everybody. Doesn't carve out individually. It's a blanket amnesty for those folks."
Following the hearing, reporters from Arizona and elsewhere mobbed Pearce. Leave it to Channel 12's Brahm Resnik to ask Pearce the question I was most curious about; i.e., when and where did this tear-sharing actually take place?
"I was at the convention at the downtown during the last election, 2010," Pearce states at 1:50:01 in, "We went off in the corner, about a half dozen of us and I have to admit I was very touched. These were exceptional kids and I understood their plight, and again, that's why I say, exceptions I think can be carved out. But you can't just do blanket policies and forgive the world for breaking our laws. Or use taxpayer dollars to subsidize it."
Could Pearce be talking about this confrontation above between him and DREAM Act students, which took place on election night 2010, at the Hyatt in downtown Phoenix?
This is how I described it back in 2010, which seems like eons ago:
In the video, state Senator Russell Pearce, recently elected Senate President, is confronted on election night in the lobby of the Hyatt by two DREAM Activists, Erika Andiola and another young woman named Daniela.
Andiola, dressed in a graduation gown, asks Pearce about his sponsorship of Prop 300, which cut off in-state college tuition to the undocumented after it was approved by the voters in 2006. Pearce responds by telling her you can't use taxpayer dollars on those who are in the country illegally.
Andiola tries to make the point that she does pay taxes -- sales taxes, even though she is undocumented, but Pearce keeps interrupting her, belligerently, with his stock phrases, such as "Rule of law," and, "Illegal is illegal, it's not a race, it's a crime."
Daniela gently asks this bigoted beast if DREAM Act students such her, brought here when they were young, should be punished for the sins of their fathers.
"Blame your father," he tells her. "I agree with you. Shame on him."
She then deftly asks if that means he agrees that people such as her should not be punished.
"That's not the issue," Pearce replies. "I don't make the law, I will enforce the law."
I arrived shortly after it had occurred. Pearce did not seem verklempt. And there are no tears in the video.
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But this does not prove it did not happen, of course.
Pearce has told this tale before, but this is the first time, that I know of, where he identified the date and location.
So, if any of you DREAMers out there had a soft moment with the biggest bigot in Arizona, please hit me up via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Am dying to hear about it.
I'll check with my DREAM sources as well, and update this post when and if I get more info.