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2016 Democratic National Convention
Speech by Astrid Silva

July 25, 2016

Astrid Silva is PLAN’s organizing director. She started at PLAN as a volunteer and transitioned to staff after receiving her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permit. Astrid has been referred to as the “face” of immigration, and Harry Reid’s conscience when it comes to immigration reform. Her personal story was highlighted by President Barack Obama and she was chosen by the White House to introduce him at Las Vegas. She is a leader among DREAMers in Nevada and is the co-founder of DREAM Big Vegas, a Southern Nevada organization for undocumented youth. Astrid is a graduate of Advance Technologies Academy, holds two associates degrees from the College of Southern Nevada and currently attends Nevada State College.

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 better life. All I had was a little doll.

I grew up like an ordinary girl. My dad worked as a landscaper and my mom stayed at home with my brother and I.

But while my friends did ordinary things, I couldn’t because my parents were afraid that someone might discover I was undocumented.

My family believed so deeply in the promise of this country that we risked everything for the American dream.

As an undocumented student, I felt like college was out of reach. But after a journey…[inaudible]…I finally graduated from Nevada State College.

My family and I are here because of people like Senator Harry Reid – [Spanish audio] – who put themselves in our shoes and helped us.

And while President Obama’s immigration action protected me, we live in constant fear that my parents could be taken away from their grandson, Noah.

So when Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart, separating families like mine and like Karla’s.

Hillary Clinton understands that this is not who we are as a country.

I have seen her comfort children like Karla [Ortiz] who are scared that they might lose their parents to deportation.

I know she will fight to keep our families together. [Spanish audio] I know she will.