SAN DIEGO -- Every movement has its warriors on the front line. When it comes to immigrant rights, that is where you'll find Enrique Morones.
The 56-year-old San Diego native is the founder and leader of Border Angels. Since it began in 1986, the immigrant rights group has gained national acclaim for taking water into the desert for migrants who cross the border and -- more recently -- for taking on politicians who cross migrants by scapegoating them.
Morones is also my compadre, the godfather of my youngest daughter. But that doesn't stop me from criticizing him when I think he deserves it.
A few years ago, I chided him for his liberal politics by saying in a column that while his heart is in the right place, I'm not always sure where his head is. Though he is a dedicated progressive, he is to the right of more militant immigrant advocates.
"There's a lot of truth to the idea that a lot of our values as Latinos, my values, in many things, are Republican," Morones told me. "I'm talking about the old Republican ideology, which has been lost. The family values, religion, all that, I support."
Although he "votes 99 percent of the time for Democrats," he is fed up with the games from both sides.
"Who continually attacks us, and causes us harm?" he asked. "Both parties."
In 1998, Morones became the first dual citizen of the United States and Mexico. And in 2009, Mexico's Human Rights Commission awarded him its highest honor -- the National Human Rights Award.
I asked how he defines his nationality.
"I was born in the United States," he said. "But I see myself as a Mexican. I'm not Mexican-American. I'm Mexican. That doesn't mean that I'm anti-United States. It means I'm proud of my roots. That's all."
Copyright 2013 Washington Post Writers Group