Congresswoman Matsui takes Sac State professor to State of the Union

English faculty member Jesus Limón is a DACA recipient


Photo Courtesy of Jesus Limón

From left: Sac State Professor Jesus Limón, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and Doris Matsui, U.S. Representative for California’s 6th district all outside the hall before the The State of the Union Address. Limón was invited by Matsui as her personal guest for the event.

Nicholas Corey

Sacramento State English professor Jesus Limón attended the State of Union Address as the guest of Congresswoman Doris Matsui, U.S. Representative for the 6th Congressional District in California Feb. 5.

Congresswoman Matsui invited Limón as her personal guest four days before the event, according to Limón.

The invitation came after Limón and Matsui met for the second time at a Dreamer advocacy program at Sac State.

“I was able to share my story, from a Dreamer to a DACA recipient and eventually a faculty member,” Limón said.

Limón was snuck into the United States at just eight years old. Taken separately from his mother and sister, Limón had to pretend to have a different name so a woman could use her son’s birth certificate to sneak him across the border.

His story and work on the Dreamer advocacy program made an impression on the congresswoman. “She (Matsui) sent me a thank you note,” Limón said.

Limón said that at the address, President Donald Trump’s rhetoric used when discussing immigration policies was nothing new to him.

“To hear the president use such a large platform for false narratives was upsetting,” Limón said.

“Especially after hearing cheers echo from the Republican side of the house when the president used rhetoric about immigrants,” he said.  

Limón said the highlight of his trip was the reception before The State of the Union Address. It was at that reception where he said he met newly elected officials like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District.

Photo Courtesy of Jesus Limón
Professor Limon and U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Limon recalled thoughts of meeting congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez as “hopeful”, because he was able to meet people once thought of as not supposed to be here.

Matsui has attended receptions like this one since 1978, when her husband was first elected into office. According to Limón, Matsui said that the diversity range of attendees was not standard, and is in fact a “new wave of people, brand new energy and this is what happens when people are fed up.”

The night wasn’t all business, though. Limón said he talked with celebrity chef, Jose Andres, who has done notable charity work, like serving people food in the fires in Paradise, CA, last fall.

Photo Courtesy of Jesus Limón
From left: Professor Jesus Limón, celebrity chef, Jose Andres and Doris Matsui, U.S. Representative for California’s 6th Congressional District. Andres has done charity work in California with victims of the Paradise camp fire.

Overall, Limón said he felt honored for the opportunity to attend the State of the Union Address and that his interactions at the reception with new Congress members reaffirmed the hope he has in the system.

“The pendulum swings in your favor because of the system we have in place,” Limón said. “Our ability to build and work together with others from different countries is inspiring.”

Kinesiology major Patricia Ibarrientos said she doesn’t care for politics and didn’t watch the State of the Union Address, but knew her professor was in attendance through a class email.