A Farewell Letter to Dana Rohrabacher By an Undocumented Activist

Dana Rohrabacher (photo by Jack Gould)

Editor’s note: We now bring you “Deport This!” an expanded weekly immigration column in partnership with Orange County Immigrant Youth United and Chispa, two local activist groups fighting to abolish ICE–and much more. Every week, they’ll bring us their intersectional views on immigration news both local and national—enjoy!

By Jessica Bravo, (Guest columnist) 

Dear Dana Rohrabacher,

Let me remind you of who I am. Back in 2013, we met in your D.C. office. As a Costa Mesa resident, I scheduled a meeting with you to share my story of being an undocumented person living in the United States in order to stress the need for immigration legislation that brings folks out from the shadows. This was my first encounter with you and it proved to be a very traumatizing one, I must say.

I attended a national training in Washington D.C. with the PICO National Network (now known as Faith in Action), to launch the Campaign for Citizenship. We urged legislators to introduce an immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. I was thrilled, determined and optimistic to begin our efforts as this was my first national campaign and legislative visit in D.C.

I expected a civil dialogue from you. Instead, I got insults.

Less than 10 minutes into our hostile meeting, you told me that you were elected to represent “legal citizens,” not “illegals” like myself. Well, let me tell you something. I may not be able to vote but the power of my story moves voters and will continue to do so until we abolish ICE, embrace our immigrant community and pass legislation that values the dignity our immigrant community deserves.

Our stories are powerful, they allow us to share experiences and empathize with each other. One of the most basic human interactions proved to be beyond your capacity.

My family and I came to the United States over 20 years ago. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but a necessary one. There was no legal pathway for us to come. Being undocumented is a hardship and a choice no one makes simply because the rules are too difficult to follow.

This current Trump era is one of living in constant anxiety as to what may happen. It means planning for an uncertain future. We are not pawns to be used for political gains. You may not have cared to represent me but here I am. And I will continue to use my voice to challenge those in power who believe they can disregard our existence because of our status.

So Mr. Rohrabacher, I hope you enjoy your retirement to come after last week’s elections.

I say to you one last time that I am a human worthy of being in this country regardless of what you think of me. I will no longer fight to justify my existence but rather fight the injustices that exist. I may not be able to cast my vote at the polls, but many in my community who stand with me at the front lines and can vote–and did!

Now, it’s time to occupy those very same seats that are held by anti-immigrants like you.

This is for all those who had their doubts in voting but did it anyway. This is for those who knocked doors and made calls encouraging voters to show up at the polls.

Imagine what unseating all the Rohrabachers in congress would look like! We’ll have another chance in 2020. The work doesn’t end with elections but they do provide an opportunity to hold our representatives accountable. Let them know “que aquí estamos y no nos vamos.”

The same can’t be said of you, Mr. Rohrabacher, with regards to your comfortable seat in Congress for these past 30 years.


Jessica Bravo

7 Replies to “A Farewell Letter to Dana Rohrabacher By an Undocumented Activist”

  1. For thirty years, I have been trying to unseat this moron. Finally, Harley was able to kick his ass out and into early retirement. His time is over, he does not represent the diverse and ever changing population of OC. One last boot for him would be an investigation of his ties with Putin, including the finances & investments of his abuse of power wife.

  2. I too was outraged that Republican Mimi Walters was allowing the deportation of illegal immigrants and denying due process to immigrants. That’s why I volunteered for Democratic Candidate Katie Porter all summer long. It wasn’t easy canvassing with my 23 month old daughter, but I was outraged that they were separating families and not giving a dame. I was also tired of being intimidated by attorneys threatening to deport me, citizens that are doing shaddy things threatened to have me deported too. Just because I’m a immigrant, it doesn’t give anyone the right to use that against me especially when they are the ones committing crimes. This shit has to stop and it starts with kicking racists out of office.

  3. Do you honestly think I could go to any other country and flaunt their immigration laws? You seem incapable of distinguishing between legal and illegal immigration, the difference is vast! Thinking that your very first action is to violate our immigration laws and that you should be rewarded with citizenship is bizarre and evidences your disrespect for the USA. Our representatives do not represent you as a noncitizen, they represent the American people! There is a legal path to citizenship in this country, I would suggest that you follow it like millions that have gone before you, doing otherwise exhibits your disdain for our country! Sex, in the proper context is a good thing, but rape is pure evil!
    Should we now reference rape as undocumented sex?

  4. Interesting article as the author’s stated attempt is to “trigger” readers. Elected officials are elected to serve their citizens. According to Webster a citizen is: “a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.” Rohrabacher might be gone, but Rouda seems to me like a Republican that switched parties so he could run as Dem and win. He lives in Emerald Bay in Laguna surrounded by $10M+ homes. Personally I have yet to come into contact with an American that is anti-immigrant — literally zero conversation about “anti-immigrant.” However I have heard lots of discussion about anti “illegal immigrant” – meaning Americans just want people to come here legally. There is a process. We have a great country, and we allow over 1M legal immigrants in the US per year.

  5. One less nasty ass, morally deficient, pro-Putin, pro-drilling, anti-gay, anti-immigrant Republican is okay with me! After 30 years of watching this out of touch crustacean inject his stupidity and ignorance into legislation and the public arena, I know I speak for a lot of people when I say “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!”

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