LATINO VOICES
02/15/2013 05:56 pm ET

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Allegedly Makes DREAMer Cry

This isn't the way to get Latino votes.

Conservative California U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher got into a heated tiff with 18-year-old DREAMer Jessica Bravo that left the girl crying last week, The Hill reports.

Bravo said the Congressman raised his voice, railed against "illegals" and threatened to get her deported. She recounted her version of the events in a blog for Sojourners:

I wanted to tell Rep. Rohrabacher my story, I wanted to explain that I have no other home than Costa Mesa, I wanted to speak for all those in my community who are too afraid to talk about their status, all those who live in the shadows and who have had their families torn apart. But when I told him I was an undocumented American he stiffened visibly. He got angry and told me he “hates illegals.” He pointed his finger at me and asked — who are you, that you think you’re so important? ...

As I left his office, he asked me if I had registered for the meeting. I nodded. “Now I know where you live,” he said.

A spokesperson for Rohrabacher denied the Congressman had initiated the hostile tone in comments to the The Hill, saying immigration rights activist Minerva Gomez sparked the confrontation when she said that racism motivated his immigration politics. The spokesperson said it was Gomez rather than Rohrabacher who had yelled, and that the Congressman had asked for Gomez's information rather than Bravo's.

Rohrabacher describes himself as a "staunch opponent of amnesty for illegal immigrants" in his website biography.

Both tensions and hopes are running high as Congress begins discussing the possibility of a bipartisan immigration reform.

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