WASHINGTON — Congressional Democratic leaders have selected an immigration activist covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to deliver a response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Former two-term Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear will deliver the party’s official response. Nevada DREAMer Astrid Silva, a Mexican immigrant brought to the country illegally as a 5-year-old, will deliver the Spanish-language response.
“President Trump would have people believe that all immigrants are criminals and that refugees are terrorists,” Silva said in a statement released by Dem leaders. “But like my family, the vast majority of immigrants and refugees came to this country escaping poverty and conflict, looking for a better life and the opportunity to reach the American Dream. We contribute to this country every day and we are an integral part of communities across our nation.”
“It is more important than ever that we show the American people the real faces of immigrants and that we push back on President Trump and Republicans’ plan and vision for America,” she continued. “Rather than separating immigrant families, President Trump should be working to create more jobs, expand access to quality affordable healthcare and education for all Americans. This is a crucial time for the immigrant community and for Latinos.”
Silva also spoke at last summer’s Democratic National Convention.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Silva “embodies the exact principles upon which our country was founded.”
“While President Trump unleashes a cruel deportation dragnet on hard-working immigrant families, Astrid Silva personifies the values that have always made America strong,” added House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “We are honored to have her represent congressional Democrats in the Spanish-language response.”
Dems said Beshear was chosen for his record of job creation and cutting the rate of Kentucky’s uninsured residents from 20 percent to 7.5 percent.