“I do know what this physique is succesful of. I could not have witnessed it, however I’ve examine it in the historical past books,” Neguse said as he stood on the Senate floor. “The thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery was handed on this very room. … In 1964, this physique secured passage of the Civil Right Act.”
“We’ve certainly had our struggles,” Neguse added, “but we have always risen to the occasion when it mattered the most, not by ignoring injustice or cowering to bullies or threats, but by doing the right thing.”
Neguse argued that people in the countries like the ones his parents fled three decades ago “stand up to dictators and autocrats and tyrants because America is a guiding light for them, a North Star in these moments, because the people who sat in your chairs, when confronted with choices that define us, rose to the occasion.” He called the Senate “a sacred floor.”
Also on the impeachment team was Rep. Joaquin Castro, whose grandmother came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 7, and whose brother, former H.U.D. Secretary Julián Castro, was briefly a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, the lone Latino in the race. In his closing argument, he reminded senators of the symbolic importance of the United States for the rest of the world.
“America is not only a nation, for many it is also an idea,” Castro said. “It’s the gentle that provides hope to folks struggling for democracy in autocratic regimes. The gentle that evokes folks preventing throughout the world for basic human rights and the gentle that evokes us to imagine in one thing bigger than ourselves.”