Wilmer Valderrama, the actor best known for the television shows “Awake” and “That 70s Show“, spoke to a crowded room at Arizona State University on Tuesday in the midst of the state’s battle with the Supreme Court over SB 1070. Speaking about the importance of the Latino vote in this upcoming election, Valderrama expressed a pro-immigration stance and called for increased Latino involvement in politics.
“The only way the system can work is if we all get involved,” Valderrama said. “Don’t expect politicians to figure it out for you.”
The event was sponsored by the ‘Voto Latino’ campaign, an effort aimed at increasing the presence of young Latino voters in the next election. Victor Corral, a volunteer with the organization, helped collect new voter registration forms and was excited to hear from the actor. “The Latino voice needs to be heard,” Corral said. “He makes a big difference in doing that.”
“If we don’t tell our friends to vote, who will?” he said.
Born in Miami, Valderrama moved back and forth between Venezuela and the United States, during his youth. Coming from an immigrant background himself, he expressed strong feelings against SB1070, a controversial immigration law in Arizona. Valderrama wants more young people and young Latinos to engage in the voting process. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on it.
“It’s sad,” he said. “Immigration is the reason we have a country in the first place.”
Valderrama holds the belief that both legal and unauthorized immigrants contribute a lot to the United States economy; citing boosts in unclaimed tax revenue and labor for hard-to-fill jobs. He wants people to stop having what he refers to as a ‘negative mental image’ when they hear the word ‘immigration’.
Read more: Fox News Latino
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