Things That Matter

We Spoke With Ammar Campa-Najjar, The First Latino-Arab Running For Congress

Ammar Camp-Najjar made headlines when he first announced his candidacy for California’s 50th Congressional district representing San Diego. The young politician garnered lots of attention for his looks and the collective thirst he inspired on social media helped raise his profile. While the Internet was busy swooning, Campa-Najjar was starting his work into flipping the California’s 50th Congressional District. As the son of an immigrant father, Campa-Najjar says he understands the need for a more efficient and modernized immigration system.

Campa-Najjar, the first Latino-Arab to run for Congress, spoke with mitú about the importance of changing our immigration system, his family’s immigration experience, and how he plans on getting people to show up and vote.

Ammar Campa-Najjar is running for California’s 50th Congressional district, which has been a Republican stronghold for more than a decade.

#flashbackfriday: Swearing-in ceremony, performed by Deputy Secretary of Labor Lu.

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


Campa-Najjar is hoping to flip California’s 50th Congressional district to represent people in San Diego who he thinks have been let down by multiple Congressmen, including incumbent Duncan Hunter Jr. Hunter Jr. has been accused of misspending tens of thousands of dollars of campaign funds to pay for family vacations.

And one of his biggest influences for running for Congress comes from his own family: his grandmother.

Visited my abuelita and gave her the gift I got her from the #Vatican: A #blessed silver plate of the Last Supper ?

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“My grandmother and my grandfather were immigrants [from Mexico]. They came here legally back when it was a little easier. My grandmother is from Guadalajara. My grandfather was an orphan farm worker. They came from humble beginnings and they were just hard working, middle-class people,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

“I think what my grandparents had and my mother had was the ability to contribute fully and fairly to America’s economy and way of life,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

Thanksgiving 2015 with my little brother and sister. ?

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Campa-Najjar told mitú that he understands the importance of making sure that people can come into the country more efficiently and immediately bringing them into the fold. He believes getting people working and integrated will help the economy and improve many lives.

Campa-Najjar says that the best way to fix our immigration issue is to modernize the process.

Ammar Campa / Facebook

“If we could modernize our immigration process, people will be able to opt to come here in the more legal fashion because it is a viable path. They wouldn’t be waiting a decade or two to come into this country legally,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. He added: “There are people who are trying to come into this country who are fleeing persecution or fleeing oppression or fleeing violence and they can’t wait for 20 years for their children to come to this country to have the American dream. So I would focus on modernizing our immigration process.”

Campa-Najjar told mitú that he has the experience in Washington D.C. and that he has proven he can lead from the Capitol.


“I am the only person in this race who has been to Washington, who has worked in Washington, who has proven that I will not lose my way,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. “If you look at this district, they’ve had a history of terrible Congressmen on both sides.”

Once again, a lesson from his own family is what encouraged him to work as hard as he can in whatever he does.

#TBT We love you mama ??

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“My mom taught me that your work ethic reveals who you are as a person and I’ll contrast the values instilled in me by this district to the values that Duncan Hunter has lost and the code of conduct he has violated, not just as a Congressman but as a former military member,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

And since he is running for Congress, he wants people to see him as a politician, not an Internet heartthrob.

Chatting with MSNBC's Jose Diaz Balart at the #DemConvention

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“I’ll be honest. It’s a very minuscule version of what women go through all of the time trying to be taken seriously. I’m not running to be a social media candidate, I’m running and spending every waking moment at people’s homes,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. “This election is not about the newsroom. It’s about people’s dining rooms and living rooms. It’s about what keeps them up at night and wakes them up in the morning and I honestly see it as a disservice to that struggle when people objectify me. I try not to take it personally but it really derails the hopes and dreams of a lot of people.”

He plans on getting young people ready to vote by getting them pre-registered to vote.

Trump's biggest nightmare: a Mexican-Arab born in a border city occupying the Oval Office ??

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Campa-Najjar is working to get young people to vote through an initiative he called “18 By 2018.” He is actively getting 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds pre-registered to vote so that they are able to go straight to the polls once they turn 18. Camap-Najjar knows many young Latinos become eligible to vote every day. He wants to tap into the younger population, who he believes will be bear the brunt of decisions made by politicians.

Campa-Najjar told mitú he is running on ideology, not party, to help his district and his neighborhood.

Official government portrait ?? Only in America can the son of a woman from the barrio and a man from an occupied territory have the freedom to reimagine his life and pursue his dreams. It's impossible to explain how surreal it is to spend the first part of your life with your family under siege for years, almost every night, by helicopters and F-16s that leveled entire neighboring buildings on your bloc with missiles that had the words "Made in America" written on them, and then spend the second part of your life working within the United States Government, entrusted with serving the American public, getting referred to as sir by Secret Service agents every morning and being protected as a man by the same things that could've killed you as a boy. It's not the perfect love story, but I know what I've witnessed in my life is nothing short of an American miracle. Not a single day goes by where I don't hear from a family member who is still shocked that someone with my background has been called to serve in this place; it flies in the face of everything so many in the Arab world think they know about America. This anecdotal story gives them the audacity of hope. So even in our darkest hours as a nation, and there have been many recently, these experiences give me faith that there's nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. I love this country.

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


As the son of immigrants, Campa-Najjar told mitú he wants to represent California’s 50th district to give all immigrants the same dream and opportunity his family had. It isn’t about sticking to a party line. It is about helping those who want to come to America to contribute.


READ: People Just Can’t Handle The Heat Coming From This Handsome Congressional Candidate

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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