Immigration activist Astrid Silva will be delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress in Spanish on Tuesday evening.
Silva marks the initially time a Spanish response will be delivered rebutting a president’s 1st address to a joint session of Congress. She will be joined by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who will deliver the Democratic response in English.
Her speech Tuesday night will target Trump's immigration policies. "It is far more crucial than ever that we show the American folks the actual faces of immigrants and that we push back on President Trump and Republicans’ plan and vision for America," Silva stated in a statement released by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Residence Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday.
Right here is much more to know about Silva:
“When I was four years old, my mother and I climbed into a raft and we crossed the river to join my father in America, in search of a far better life. All I had was a little doll,” Silva stated in her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Having crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S., Silva’s family decided to make Nevada their home. Her father worked as a landscaper and her mother cleaned houses.
Silva wanted to attend a magnet high school, but her parents mentioned no simply because they have been afraid somebody would learn Silva was undocumented. But she applied behind their backs and was accepted. Silva finished magnet school at the top rated of her class and did not want to cease there.
For the next 5 years, she worked as a babysitter in order to pay for neighborhood college classes, earning two associate's degrees in arts and political science. She then went on to earn her third degree from Nevada State College.
“But for all of my individual success, my family members nonetheless lived in worry that we would be separated,” Silva wrote in a USA Currently opinion piece.
Then in 2011, her father was detained and facing deportation.
“Just to have my dad in a detention center for one week was devastating to me,” Silva said during her December 2014 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her father’s deportation was deferred to 2014 and then later deferred once more below President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive action.
Her speech at the 2016 DNC, however, was not the first time her story received national focus.
In announcing new executive action on immigration in 2014, President Obama utilized Silva’s story to show the plight of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives.
“Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid, or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in?” President Obama mentioned in his remarks to the nation on Nov. 20, 2014.
President Obama’s announcement of new immigration reform - Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA” -- permitted her father temporary keep since her brother was born in America.
“When the president told my story, I looked at my dad, and then over to my mom, and I began crying with relief,” Silva wrote of her encounter watching President Obama’s speech.
The next day, following the president’s speech, Silva introduced Obama at a rally at the Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.
Silva decided to come to be an immigration activist following her household could not return to Mexico to attend her grandmother’s funeral.
“That's when I realized I could not sit idly by and watch households getting torn apart since of our broken immigration system. I knew I had to act,” Silva wrote in USA Currently.
She co-founded the Dream Big Vegas organization in her neighborhood for immigration reform. She also struck up a friendship and partnership with former Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push for legislation.
“My family and I are here because of folks like Sen. Harry Reid. Who place themselves in our footwear and helped us,” Silva stated at the 2016 DNC.
Adding that her family members nevertheless is fighting for legal citizenship, she mentioned, “And even though President Obama's immigration action protected me, we reside in continuous worry that my parents could be taken away from their grandson, Noah.”
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