msnbc | November 17, 2012
>>> of them is the newly elected democratic congresswoman from arizona . she won a hard fought race in a newly created congressional district . she will be the first openly bisexual member of congress and congresswoman elect, thank you for joining us. thank you for being here.
>> it's my pleasure.
>> you and other new congress members arrived this week and class picture and two full weeks of orientation and briefings. how hard is it to get up to speed as a member of congress ?
>> your first couple of days are like drinking from a fire hose . if you're someone like me who just came off a very hard fought victory, to turn around and start learning about the most complex government system in the world, it's a big task. it's been exciting. i have to say the united states government has done a great job making sure members of congress understand the challenge in front of them and understand the complexities and duty we hold to the american people .
>> the debate over immigration policy has been divisive in arizona and you oppose arizona 's controversial immigration issues from the get-go. do you think this congress can work together to get immigration reform ?
>> it's not a matter of can they, a matter when will that happen? congress has to take action on immigration reform . nowhere do we see the need for that than arizona . we're ground zero . congress has to come together and do this. the question is which members will have the moral courage to come together and find that middle ground and that compromise. i hope this coming congress , the 113th congress will be the one that takes that action.
>> the newly elected congress will be one of the most diverse in u.s. history , a range of religions including muslims and other members and lbgt members than ever before. what do you think your class of c colleagues will bring to the table?
>> i'm so proud this congress will more reflect the diversity we see across our nation. my hope is the action taken by the members who serve in the 113th congress , regardless who they are or what district they represent will keep in mind it's our duty and job to represent every single member of this country, not just those who may look like us or live in our districts. we need to represent the entire diverse population that makes america the greatest country on earth.
>> you have a really remarkable personal story. you say you grew up poor and were even homeless at one point yet you went on to earn your law degree and doctorate and now happeneded to congress . when did you decide to turn those hardships around and run for public office .
>> when i was a kid my parents taught me during the tough times we faced, i was homeless two years as a kid and lived in an old gas station with no running water and no electricity. my parents taught me no matter how tough things were you had to keep your eye focused and do your best. i learned how important it was to have the help of others, who it be church, family members or sometimes government. it was programs like pell grants that helped me get through college. i learned those values early on. it was that hard work and perseverance as well as this idea of helping each other that helped me get to where i am today. i want a congress that creates that same opportunity for every kid in this country.
>> congresswoman elect kyrsten, good luck and don't let those veteran guys haze you, stand your ground .
>> there's no hazing.