On May 28, 2013, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman invited the Omaha South High School boys soccer team to a lunch in honor of their recent state championship. The team decided to use this opportunity to deliver a letter expressing their disappointment in the governor’s decision to not issue driver’s licenses to young undocumented immigrants who have received a temporary reprieve from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The governor’s decision also prompted the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) to file suit against the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.
Even though the team indicated in the letter that they were honored by the governor’s invitation, some people are still calling their move brash when they should be calling it brave. How often do regular people get a chance to have a face-to-face meeting with their elected official to discuss important community issues? Very rarely. Even if immigration was not part of the lunch agenda, the boys soccer team had every right to use the event to bring awareness to this issue. In fact, one could argue that it was their responsibility to inform the governor about how his decision affected his constituents. After all, isn’t that what democracy is all about?