Senator Sinema’s Illegal Immigrant Bathroom Stalker Petitions Against Federal-Only Voter Bill

Senator Sinema’s Illegal Immigrant Bathroom Stalker Petitions Against Federal-Only Voter Bill

By Corinne Murdock |

Karina Ruiz de Diaz, an illegal immigrant who qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and is hedging on President Joe Biden’s promise of a pathway to citizenship, petitioned to end a bill prohibiting illegal immigrants from voting, HB2492. As AZ Free News reported last week, the House Government and Elections Committee passed the bill. 

“[This bill] is threatening my ability as #DACA and the ability of #immigrants in AZ to help those eligible citizens to register to #VOTE,” wrote Ruiz de Diaz.

Ruiz de Diaz was among the group of individuals who filmed themselves following Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) into a bathroom last October over her refusal to answer whether she’d support President Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill. Later on the same day of that incident, Ruiz de Diaz confronted Sinema on her plane ride back to D.C. It appears, however, that Ruiz de Diaz didn’t have to worry about her voting rights during the 2020 election: she revealed that her son voted for Biden. 

“I am a DACA recipient from Arizona who volunteered to help elect Sen. Sinema. I asked her to follow through on her promises to immigrants in Arizona and support citizenship through reconciliation,” stated Ruiz. “My son voted for President Biden and his Build Back Better agenda. He voted for bold action from democrats to protect immigrants.”

In January, police dismissed their investigation into the activists who followed Sinema. Law enforcement said that Sinema went into the bathroom with knowledge that it was illegal to film another in the bathroom, citing Sinema’s comments in the initial police report. Arrests can jeopardize an individual’s DACA status.

According to an Arizona Republic profile on Ruiz de Diaz’s family, which included details of their illegal border crossing, Ruiz de Diaz came to Arizona from Mexico in 1999 at around 14 years old. She fled with her father, Mauro Santiago Ruiz Barrita, and her mother, Virginia Ruiz Barrita, after her father claimed he was attacked at gunpoint in their hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. Arizona Republic reporter Megan Taros featured the story of Ruiz de Diaz’s family last March as part of a story on Ruiz Barrita’s death at 74 from COVID-19 in “Loved and Not Forgotten: Phoenix and Scottsdale Area,” part of the outlet’s series, “100 Stories.” 

Ruiz de Diaz supplemented the content for the profile on her father, noting that he was saddened he couldn’t return to Mexico to see his dying mother three years ago. She added that her father would often say about America: “Even if the cage is made of gold it is still a prison,” in Spanish.

“His heart was broken between the U.S. and Mexico,” said Ruiz de Diaz in the interview.

Due to being an illegal immigrant, Ruiz de Diaz told CNN that it took over a decade to earn a biochemistry degree from Arizona State University (ASU). 

“I have felt voiceless because in Arizona voters passed a law that says I have to show proof of legal residency for in-state tuition. Because of that law, it took me 12 years to graduate from college with a bachelor of science in biochemistry that I’m not using right now. I’m not working in my field because I have to be fighting this fight. My life and the lives of people like myself who qualified for DACA, and people who did not, were on the line the last four years. This fight took priority,” said Ruiz de Diaz. “I dream of going back to my field one day. I want to teach science. I want to do research. When I’m a citizen I could go back to doing that, knowing I have grown leaders in the community who can carry on the work of the nonprofit.”

Currently, Ruiz de Diaz serves as the executive director of Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC), a nonprofit that advocates for illegal immigrants’ unfettered access to work, housing, and education. Ruiz de Diaz told CNN in the same interview that she’s helped thousands of people register to vote over the years; her desire to vote served as one main reason she supported Biden. 

“The first thing that I would do is register to vote. I have helped so many people register to vote in the last five years, I lost count. It’s more than 1,000 or 2,000 people, because I wanted them to be a voice for me. I wanted them to understand the power that they have in deciding who represents them,” said Ruiz de Diaz.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Senator Sinema’s Illegal Immigrant Bathroom Stalker Petitions Against Federal-Only Voter Bill

Police Investigating Activists Who Accosted, Filmed Senator Sinema in ASU Bathroom

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona State University (ASU) Police Department confirmed with AZ Free News that they are investigating the activists who followed and filmed Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) inside a bathroom. The senator had stepped out of a class that she teaches at ASU to use the bathroom when activists with Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), an nonprofit activist organization, accosted her and followed her into the bathroom. While filming Sinema, they also filmed other students using the bathroom. The activists demanded that Sinema vote “yes” on the reconciliation bill.

“The ASU Police Department is working with Senator Sinema and conducting a full investigation of the incident that occurred Sunday at the University Center on the Downtown Phoenix campus. Due to the active status of the investigation, we are unable to provide more information at this time,” stated ASU.

One of the LUCHA activists, Karina Ruiz de Diaz, is an illegal immigrant as admitted in a report by CNN. She also accosted Sinema on Monday during a flight, repeatedly asking Sinema to ensure that she and others would be given a pathway to citizenship.

One of LUCHA’s paid activists, Blanca Collazo, told Sinema that she was a product of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Collazo complained that she wasn’t able to visit her deported grandfather before his death because she doesn’t have her citizenship yet. DACA recipients may not leave the country without the government’s prior permission, or “advance parole.” Collazo held her face mask below her nose and mouth as she spoke at Sinema.

“My name is Blanca. I was brought into the United States when I was three years old. And in 2010 my grandparents both got deported because of SB1070. And I’m here because I definitely believe that we need a pathway to citizenship. My grandfather passed away two weeks ago, and I was not able to go to Mexico and visit him because there is no pathway to citizenship,” said Collazo. “We need to hold you accountable to what you told us – what you promised us that you were going to pass when we knocked on doors for you. It’s not right.”

Collazo intended to attend Grand Canyon University (GCU), where she’d been given a scholarship, but told Cronkite News that she opted to work full-time instead due to the pandemic.

Another activist, Sophia Marjanovic, told Sinema that she endured human trafficking because of the lack of worker protection laws. Shortly after, Marjanovic posted on Facebook that she’d caught Sinema “during her pee break” and encouraged others to accost the senator, sharing the location of her class.

“Always have a Lakota Auntie on board! I descend from people who neutralized Custer; I can neutralize anyone. #F***AroundAndFindOut,” wrote Marjanovic. “I told you I wasn’t going to allow this woman to pee in peace in public and mission accomplished!”

As their videos went viral, Marjanovic posted again to chastise her critics. She said that nobody could condemn her actions because she’s a human trafficking survivor, the critics are on “stolen” land anyway, and that white people shouldn’t be allowed to speak on this incident.

“For now, connect with the fact that you are on stolen Indigenous land and Indigenous women and children go missing and murdered because we don’t have access to stable jobs, stable housing, clean water, clean food, or stable decent healthcare [sic] despite the fact that Indigenous people have upheld our end of the treaty in assimilating and getting educated,” wrote Marjanovic. “Give my Indigenous relatives to the South of the US-Mexican border citizenship now! White Communications Departments of organizations, media and campaigns uphold White supremacy. Step out of the way!”

According to Arizona law, it is illegal to film someone in the bathroom and publish it without their consent.

“A. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, digitally record or by any other means secretly view, with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent under either of the following circumstances: 1. In a restroom, bathroom, locker room, bedroom or other location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and the person is urinating, defecating, dressing, undressing, nude or involved in sexual intercourse or sexual contact. […] It is unlawful to disclose, display, distribute or publish a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording made in violation of subsection A of this section without the consent or knowledge of the person depicted.”

On Monday, Sinema addressed the incident in a statement. She denounced the approach and intentions of the LUCHA activists.

“After deceptively entering a locked, secure building, these individuals filmed and publicly posted videos of my students without their permission — including footage taken of both my students and I using a restroom. In Arizona, we love the First Amendment. We know it is vital to our democracy that constituents can freely petition, protest, or criticize my policy positions and decisions. The activist group that engaged in yesterday’s behavior is one that both my team and I have met with several times since I was elected to the Senate, and I will continue engaging with Arizonans with diverse viewpoints to help inform my work for Arizona. Yesterday’s behavior was not a legitimate protest. It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”

It is unclear how the activists gained entry into the locked building.

Sinema won’t support the $3.5 trillion price tag on the reconciliation bill, or the “Build Back Better Act.” Though LUCHA activists mentioned a “pathway to citizenship,” the nearly 2,500 pages of legislation doesn’t expressly include that provision yet. Democrats have been advocating for the inclusion of permanent legal status for illegal immigrants in the bill. However, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has twice rejected versions of that proposal.

That doesn’t mean that a pathway to citizenship won’t be included in the final bill. Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) told The New York Post last week that they intend to push three more versions of the proposal to secure a pathway to citizenship.

Currently, the reconciliation bill would offer two years of free community college; child care assistance and universal pre-K; Medicare expansion to cover dental, vision, and hearing, as well as allowing the program to negotiate drug prices to reduce them; a near-four year extension of child tax credits; 12 weeks of comprehensive paid family and medical leave; financial incentives for companies that increase renewable energy supplies, and penalties for those who don’t; an entrepreneurial program for formerly-incarcerated individuals; grants to local governments or groups for community violence prevention.

Funding for this bill would come from raising taxes on corporations, top income earners, and capital gains, as well as strengthening IRS oversight. One proposal to afford further funding would grant the IRS access to total transactions for bank accounts with over $600.

In a press conference addressing the bill on Monday, President Joe Biden was dismissive of what Sinema endured. He insinuated that Sinema would’ve been fine had she had a security detail, prompting the phrase “Based Biden” to trend on Twitter.

“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics but it happens to everybody,” laughed Biden. “The only people it doesn’t happen to is people who have Secret Service standing around them. So, it’s a part of the process.”

Democrats on the local level weren’t sympathetic to Sinema’s plight, either. State Senator and treasurer candidate Martin Quezada (D-Phoenix) said Sinema was to blame for how her constituents approached her.

“Pro tip for politicians. A good way to not get harassed in restrooms by your constituents is to be available to meet and hear them out on the issues they are passionate about using normal channels,” tweeted Quezada.

Quezada made clear to AZ Free News that he never approved of how Sinema was treated. He informed us that Sinema hasn’t been keeping the lines of communication open for her constituents.

“[I] do believe that the focus of any story should be more on how Senator Sinema is an elected official. Part of her job is to listen to her constituents, not hide from them. She does not take calls or meetings and her office hangs up on constituents who try to use official channels to communicate with her. When elected officials become completely unaccountable to the people who elected them, you have to understand how they may feel as if they have no other choice but to contact her in unofficial channels,” said Quezada. “Like Senator Sinema, there are certain spaces that I would never want to be approached in. In order to avoid that happening, I fulfill my responsibility of having an open door and communicating with my bosses, the people I serve, through official channels, be they email, phone, in person meetings, Zoom meetings, social media, etc., etc., etc.”

AZ Free News inquired with Sinema’s communications team about these allegations of closing down communications with constituents. They didn’t respond by press time.

Quezada hasn’t been keen on Sinema as of late. The state senator is backing a crowdfunded campaign threatening to fund a primary challenger against Sinema if she doesn’t vote to end the filibuster. The CrowdPAC has already achieved over half of its goal contribution amount.

State Representative and attorney general candidate Diego Rodriguez (D-Phoenix) didn’t condemn the activists’ behavior.

“Clearly, the people of Arizona are not going [to] simply sit back and allow their wants and needs to be ignored by the same ELECTED officials they helped put into office,” wrote Rodriguez.

Rodriguez doesn’t take issue with public exposure of things traditionally considered private. The self-described “sex positive” representative has defended his habit of liking and commenting on both risque and pornographic posts via his personal Twitter account.

Certain Republican elected officials and candidates had a different take on the situation.

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) stated in an interview with The Conservative Circus that the LUCHA activists were examples of how society functions in a totalitarian regime.

“I think what she’s doing is principled. I think it’s what she believes in, and she’s getting the crud kicked out of her by her own party, and they’re spending millions to try to embarrass her,” said Biggs. “You’ve got these yo-yos on ASU’s campus that are chasing her into the bathroom while she’s in a stall to harass and harangue her while she’s there. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that goes on in totalitarian regimes. I mean, that’s really what it is: they’re trying to ostracize her and browbeat her. But I’ll tell you what, I know few people who are tougher than Kyrsten Sinema. I’m hopeful that she’s going to hold out on her principles.”

The bathroom incident wasn’t the first time that LUCHA activists confronted Sinema over these last few days. They disrupted a private fundraising event in Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale on Saturday. As stated earlier in this report, the illegal immigrant Ruiz de Diaz confronted Sinema on a plane.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Letter To The Editor: Senators Mark Kelly And Kyrsten Sinema Must Hold Big Pharma Accountable

Letter To The Editor: Senators Mark Kelly And Kyrsten Sinema Must Hold Big Pharma Accountable

In Scottsdale – and communities like ours all over the country – rising prescription drug prices are causing tremendous financial hardship.

It’s impacting patients struggling to afford health care. It’s affecting small business owners who would like to provide affordable health care for their employees. It’s impacting families faced with the unbearable choice between paying for critical medications and other basic necessities. All the while Big Pharma continues to see profits increase.

This January drug companies increased prices on more than 800 brand name drugs rise and already in July we are seeing another batch of price hikes under way, surpassing 65 increases in just a few weeks.

While price hikes disproportionately affect senior citizens and individuals with chronic conditions, more than two-thirds of all American adults use prescription drugs. This is an issue that affects us all.

So, it’s time for our legislators in Washington to pass solutions with bipartisan support.

It’s time to advance  market-based reforms with support from Republicans and Democrats to increase competition and transparency, stop taxpayer subsidies for price hikes higher than inflation, cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors, and hold Big Pharma accountable by giving the drug industry responsibility for significant Medicare Part D cost-sharing.

As a former US Air Force Captain, I know what it means to be a leader and step up when faced with adversity. It’s time for Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema to step up too and deliver solutions to lower drug prices and hold Big Pharma accountable.

Bruce Weber
Scottsdale, Arizona

Sinema, Kelly Vote In Favor Of Failed “Federal Power Grab” Election Bill

Sinema, Kelly Vote In Favor Of Failed “Federal Power Grab” Election Bill

On Tuesday, Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema, and Mark Kelly voted in favor of a piece of legislation, S.1, which would have grabbed power over elections away from the states. S.1 would have banned requiring photo I.D. to vote, expanded ballot harvesting, and require taxpayers to fund political campaigns.

The duo joined the other Democrats in support of the bill. However, all Republicans voted to filibuster the bill, effectively killing it.

It was Sinema and fellow Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin that preserved the filibuster for just such an occasion.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) also slammed S1 as an “unprecedented partisan power grab.”

“The Democrats’ S. 1 is an unprecedented partisan power grab that seeks to undermine the sanctity of the ballot by codifying a federal takeover of local elections. The Democrat politicians act seeks to eviscerate widely supported voter ID requirements and use taxpayer dollars to bankroll political campaigns,” GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a release. “Americans understand states should run their own elections — not unelected bureaucrats in Washington, DC. As Democrats continue their assault on election integrity, the Republican Party remains committed to making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

Sinema, Cornyn Visit CBP, Tucson Migrant Shelters

Sinema, Cornyn Visit CBP, Tucson Migrant Shelters

On Tuesday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was joined by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas on a tour of two facilities housing migrants in Tucson. Sinema and Cornyn will be in Texas today.

Sinema and Cornyn received a tour of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “soft-sided facility” in Tucson, which is used to house migrants apprehended by Border Patrol.

Cornyn and Sinema then visited the Casa Alitas shelter. The senators received a briefing from Casa Alitas staff. Casa Alitas is operated by Catholic Community Services.

Cornyn, Sinema and U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) in April introduced The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, their bipartisan, bicameral legislation to respond to the surge in migrants coming across our southern border.

The sponsors say the bill would “improve both the Department of Homeland Security’s and the Department of Justice’s capacity to manage migration influxes and adjudicate asylum claims in a timely manner, protect unaccompanied migrant children, reduce impact on local communities, ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely, and ultimately deter those who do not have realistic asylum claims from placing themselves in danger by making the treacherous journey to our southern border.”

The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act:

  • Establishes at least 4 regional processing centers in high-traffic Border Patrol sectors to properly handle the influx of migrants along the southwest border and improve interagency coordination.
  • Creates pilot programs to facilitate fairer and more efficient credible fear determinations and asylum decisions, while ensuring fairness in proceedings through provisions to protect access to counsel, language translation services, and legal orientations.
  • Establishes prioritized docketing of migrants’ immigration court cases during irregular migration influx events to deliver legal certainty for migrants., and disincentivize would-be migrants with weak asylum claims from making the treacherous journey to the southwest border.
  • Expands legal orientation programming and translation services, and protects access to counsel for migrants.
  • Implements new protections for unaccompanied migrant children released to sponsors in the United States, including regular follow-up and absolute bars on placement with persons convicted of certain crimes, such as sex offenders and child abusers.
  • Increases staffing to better handle irregular migration influx events, including 150 new Immigration Judge teams, 300 asylum officers, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations staff, ICE litigation teams, CBP officers, and Border Patrol processing coordinators.
  • Improves DHS coordination with NGOs and local governments to prevent release of migrants into small communities that are poorly equipped to handle the influx of a large number of migrants.
  • Improves DHS, DOJ, and HHS reporting to Congress to support future legislative efforts in areas in which bipartisan agreement does not yet exist.

The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Immigration Forum, National Border Patrol Council, American Business Immigration Coalition, Major Cities Chiefs Association, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Evangelicals, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Niskanen Center, Mayor Luis Sifuentes of Eagle Pass, Texas, Texas Border Coalition, Border Trade Alliance, Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, Southwestern Border Sheriffs’ Coalition, Texas Association of Business, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, RGV Partnership, New American Economy, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative.