Leftist activists chased Arizona Democratic Senator Kristen Sinema into the bathroom of the university where she was teaching. They harassed her for not signing the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget that initially included a budget to grant amnesty to the 7 million illegal immigrants in the United States but was denied.
Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) describes themselves as community members fighting for social, racial & economic transformation,’ released two videos they recorded while harassing the senator at Arizona State University (ASU) last Oct. 3.
At the beginning of the episode, the activists wait outside the classroom for the senator and ask her if they could speak with her. Sinema replies that she is leaving and evades them.
The activists chase her into the bathroom, filming the whole situation and threatening to ‘remove’ her from office.
“We knocked on doors for you to get you elected. Just how we got you elected, we can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us,” one of the women there shouts at her.
Sinema did not respond to her threats and simply continued into the restroom.
Once inside the restroom, one of the activists tried to ‘persuade’ her by admitting that she herself is an illegal immigrant.
“I was brought here to the United States when I was three years old and in 2010 my grandparents both got deported because of S.B. 1070,” a female activist said. “And I’m here because I definitely believe that we need a pathway to citizenship. My grandfather passed away two weeks ago and I was not able to go to Mexico to visit him, because there is no pathway to citizenship.”
In another video posted by the organization, activists are seen shouting outside the senator’s classroom.
Senator responds, social media reacts
Kristen Sinema is considered one of the few moderate Democrats in the Senate along with Joe Manchin who also refused to sign on to the Democrats’ massive $3.5 trillion budget.
Because of their stance, both have endured pressure from the media and their own colleagues in Congress because without their vote, the budget cannot pass as it lacks Republican support.
Using her Twitter account, Sinema condemned the episode at Arizona State University and said it was not a legitimate protest.
“Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest. It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom,” wrote the senator, adding she is willing to be criticized for her policies but not in that manner.
Twitter users sharply criticized the way the activists tried to ‘make themselves heard.’
“Please don’t chase women into bathrooms. Just asking for a modicum of decency and the bare minimum of personal respect,” wrote S.E. Cupp.
“I don’t care how much they suck as human beings. Following anyone into a bathroom and recording them is disgusting, intrusive, and creepy. Do not normalize this behavior,” Creep Caroline complained.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz directly called for the deportation of Blanca, the woman who screamed at the senator in the bathroom, admitting she was an illegal immigrant from Mexico.
Amnesty for 8 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
The activists’ demand for a ‘path to citizenship’ referred to a $100 billion-plus provision within the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure budget giving legal status to the 8 million immigrants in the country illegally.
According to The Hill, “A summary of the bill also states it will provide green cards “to millions of immigrant workers and families.”
It is unclear whether the senator was actually against this particular clause of the bill, however, that particular clause was rejected by the Senate parliamentarian, whose role is to interpret proposed legislation in the Senate.
According to KLEW, in early September, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough denied the Democrats’ first attempt to add immigration reform to the reconciliation process of their infrastructure bill.
The Democrats then introduced a new proposal that simply sought to change the registration date within current immigration law. The registration date allows people who have been residing in the U.S. prior to the registration date to be eligible for permanent residency.
MacDonough said the plan was still a “broad new immigration policy” that could not be included in the reconciliation process. Reconciliation is a procedure that allows Congress to pass budget bills without the 60-vote supermajority usually required to pass a law.
With Manchin and Sinema against the bill, the budget was not passed.