Longform

The Bermudez Triangle

Page 10 of 10

"I want him to call me on Friday with the good news," he said. "The reasons why we should be happy. My sky is not pink; my sky right now is dark."

But only a few weeks later he's changed his mind again.

He's fresh off a weeklong leadership retreat in San Diego, and he says it's changed his life. In the course of one morning, he says "I'm a changed man" at least five times.

Indeed, he projects the image of a man trying to unpack and put away years of baggage. But with Bermudez, it's so hard to tell if he's being real or putting on a show. He may mean it; he may not. Either way, he's back to his old self — a born salesman, whether he's selling labor, legal services, or the idea of immigration reform.

"I'm taking a lot of heat. I'm taking heat from the other side and from members of my own community because they don't think I'm genuine," he says. "Well, I am. I put my life on the line. Yes, I am going to receive benefits, but I don't have to do anything. If I don't lift a finger and [immigration reform passes], I'm still going to have the same benefits. I want everyone to benefit. If you come back later and you didn't lift a finger and something comes positive to us, it's not going to be worth anything to you. You're going to give it up in the first DUI you get.

"I don't like freebies. I give you this in exchange for that. That dignifies the person who receives it.

"Put up or shut up."

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Megan Irwin
Contact: Megan Irwin