WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Celebrity chef José Andrés and actress Eva Longoria joined with Latino community activists on Wednesday to push for legislation to improve lives for the Latino American community.
“The hardwork and hardships that DREAMers and undocumented immigrants bring to the table is unbelievable,” Andrés said.
Andres says immigration reform remains a top concern affecting the fate of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently in limbo. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) said hearing personal stories can help lawmakers and everyday Americans understand the impact of legislation.
“By putting their story at the front space of the American mind, people understand the DREAMer issue,” Kaine said.
During an event on Capitol Hill, Latino leaders including celebrities-turned-activists discussed the challenges families face because of what, they said, is divisive rhetoric trickling down from the White House to local communities.
Longoria said hate-fueled attacks such as the mass shooting in Texas last August caused Latino American communities to live in fear.
Advocates urge lawmakers to put their political differences aside and work together on issues such as reducing gun violence and improving health care.
“The majority of America believes in contraceptive and women’s reproductive rights. Focus on the things that we all agree on,” Longoria said.
Longoria hopes candidates are listening because she said Latino voters will head to the polls in 2020 in record numbers.