Yesterday in the nation’s capital, advocates of dreamers and immigration reform gathered to speak to lawmakers about issues concerning the Latinx community. The Senate Latino Summit featured notable politics but the real people who brought the conversation into hard-hitting waters were celebrity chef José Andrés and actress Eva Longoria.
Andrés, who’s done immense work with his organization the World Central Kitchen, spoke candidly about all that undocumented people and immigrants have contributed to the country. Andrés is also a nominee for the Noble Peace Prize for his on-the-ground work in Puerto Rico and other areas devasted by natural disasters and poverty. He told the audience and guests Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that immigration reform needs to happen now because it’s not fair to the hard work that undocumented people do every day without any consideration.
Sen. @timkaine, @chefjoseandres and Sen. @amyklobuchar are sharing the stage at #SenateLatinoSummit – “the new American Dream is to make sure everyone else around us is doing as well as we do!” – Chef José Andrés pic.twitter.com/tVYzcuyKbN
— Astrid Silva (@Astrid_NV) October 23, 2019
“I was at the cafeteria at the Senate here because [during] the government shutdown, a guy like me can lease the usage of the restaurant where senators and congressmen eat. The idea was to invite Dreamers to eat there,” Andrés said. “We went into the kitchen, and we began filming every single box of vegetables. We followed those vegetables all the way [back] to the farms, the fish all the way to the fishing boats, the chickens all the way to the chicken factories. And we found that from the Senate, from the Hill all the way to the place they began, everyone involved in the process from the workers in the field to the distribution truck drivers was undocumented in every path.”
Eva Longoria, who was also in D.C. to attend Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, spoke directly about her concerns, in particular, the horrific treatment of Latinx by the U.S. government.
— Melisa López Franzen (@MelisaFranzen) October 23, 2019
“I do think we as Hispanics have been focused on the moral imperative — this is inhumane what is happening on the border,” Longoria said, according to The Hill. “How we are treating other human beings, it’s just appalling.”
Longoria also beautifully stood up the inclusion of Kirstjen Nielsen, the disgraced former homeland security director. Fortune received backlash for allowing Nielsen to speak at an event that is intended to empower women.
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) October 23, 2019
“This stage is normally reserved for women who are changing the world for the better,” Longoria said, according to Fortune. “I didn’t want her to be the only voice in the room. She doesn’t get to take away my platform. She doesn’t get to take away my voice.”
Nicely said, Eva!