WASHINGTON – Almost four decades ago, Representative Joe Neguse's parents fled from Eritrea and came to the United States as refugees and eventually settled in Colorado to raise their son and daughter.
Now, Mr. Neguse, Democrat of Colorado and the first African American to represent the state, will be an impeachment manager, presenting the case for President Trump's resignation to the Senate.
"If Congress Don't Act," he said to colleagues on Wednesday in the House of Representatives, ahead of the impeachment vote, "If we shrink from our constitutional responsibilities to defend our republic, it will undoubtedly undermine America's vision as the last best hope on earth," quotes Abraham Lincoln.
In an interview after the House impeached Mr Trump a second time, Mr Neguse called on his parents when he spoke of "the need to secure those freedoms that have given so many so many."
"It's only because of the incredible freedoms and opportunities we have that they were able to make the American dream come true," said Neguse. "It was very important to me, given all that this country has given me, my family, my parents, that I pay it in advance."
Mr Neguse, 36, had been an early proponent of filing charges against Mr Trump and has been supporting impeachment in Russia and Ukraine since shortly after he elected in 2018. At the time, he was a freshman class representative in speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership circle. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Progressive Caucus.
When the judicial committee discussed the two articles of impeachment against Trump in 2019, Neguse said he was thinking about his little daughter: Nataliewhile he deliberated on how he would vote.
"She is not old enough to understand the proceedings before us today," Mr Neguse said during a hearing on the impeachment articles. "But one day she will be, and I hope she will know that this Congress had a duty to defend our democracy, honor our oaths, and uphold the rule of law."
As a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mr. Neguse a campus leader, he became active in the student government and started an organization dedicated to involving young people in politics. He graduated from the University of Colorado Law School, where he was chosen to serve on the school's Board of Regents, the second African American to hold the position of regent in Colorado history.
At the age of 29, he ran for Secretary of State in Colorado and narrowly lost. After a short stint at a politically minded Colorado law firm, he has was appointed to lead the state consumer protection agency.
Mr. Neguse announced his candidacy after Mr. Trump's victory and went on to win his election in a House district that is over 90 percent white. He was re-elected in the November election.