Just before two of arguably the most prominent figures in American politics take the Democratic National Convention stage in Philadelphia Monday evening, a little known speaker will have her time in the spotlight.
Astrid Silva, a so-called DREAMer who came to the United States from Mexico in 1992 when she was just four years old and who has lived in the U.S. since then, will take the stage Monday along with first lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Silva has become an icon in the movement to reform the nation’s immigration policies and has spoken out publicly for her rights and others.
You can watch her speech Monday night live by clicking here or watching below.
Her story is well documented in many places but Monday evening will be by far her most prominent foray into American political discourse. She currently works as an organizing director at the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. She was granted the temporary right to work and avoid deportation under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
On the stage in Philadelphia, she is likely to tell that story and detail the many ways in which she has struggled without legal status in the country, just like millions of others across the nation.
“They said no when I wanted to be a cheerleader. They said no when I wanted to attend a magnet school. They kept saying no. In my teen angsty way, I was annoyed. I thought they were being unfair," she wrote about her experience with her parents in a 2014 opinion piece. "As I grew up, I started to understand that they weren't being unfair, they were afraid. They were afraid they'd have to show papers and people would discover we were undocumented.”
The choice to include an undocumented immigrant shows a sharp contrast between the Democrats and the Republicans as they head into the 2016 general election stretch. Democrats, headed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widely support immigration reform. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, favors deporting every undocumented immigrant and building a giant border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.