A coalition of Latino families is going after Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina in a pair of Spanish-language billboards that are meant to expose her record on immigration.
The billboards went up Tuesday one in Raleigh and another in Durham and were paid for by donations from Latino families. They show an image of Hagan and assert that the Democratic senator is not a friend of immigrants. Hagan is among the handful of vulnerable Democratic senators running for re-election in tough races.
Viridiana Martinez, a Dreamer who helped with the efforts to put up the billboards, said the purpose of the billboards is to hold Hagan accountable on immigration.
This isnt about a political party, Martinez said in an interview with VOXXI. This is about accountability, and Sen. Hagan needs to know that there are consequences for being anti-immigrant.
The billboards allude to a vote Hagan took in 2006 when she was a state senator to prohibit undocumented immigrants from being able to get drivers license in North Carolina.
They also refer to Hagans vote in September supporting a bill by Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas. The bill sought to block more undocumented young immigrants from applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to prevent President Barack Obama from taking executive action on immigration. Hagan was one of the five Democratic senators who voted in favor of the bill.
Martinez noted that Hagan was also one of the five Democratic senators who voted against the DREAM Act in 2010. The bill wouldve created a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who grew up in the United States. Furthermore, Martinez said Hagan has also denied calls from immigrant rights advocates to intervene in deportation cases involving immigrant families from North Carolina.
The community is just fed up, Martinez said. Latino families in North Carolina want to expose the truth and expose Sen. Kay Hagans track record.
Hagans campaign office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Spanish-language billboards.
Presente Action has also been critical of Hagan. Earlier this month, the advocacy group released several Spanish-language radio ads slamming Hagan for being one of the Democrats who urged Obama to delay action on immigration. The ads also argued that Republicans have become a party that is completely anti-immigrant and that many Democrats are following in their footsteps.
Martinez agreed with that argument and added that she knows of many immigrant families who are fed up with being tossed around like political footballs by both parties.
We hear a lot here that Democrats are the lesser of two evils and that they are better than Republicans, she said. But in reality, when you talk to a lot of these parents they tell you that if there is never a price for doing wrong then what is the incentive for doing right?