Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has hired a DREAMer activist as her campaign’s Latino outreach director.
Lorella Praeli was brought to Connecticut from Peru illegally when she was 10 years old and graduated from Quinnipiac University. Praeli obtained a green card in 2012, her younger sister qualified for legal status through President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and her mother as well as other family members are still in the country illegally.
She is advocacy and policy director of United We Dream and as a student campaigned for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants in Connecticut.
“We are thrilled to have Lorella Praeli, a DREAMer, join our team because of her courage and perspective in the fight for Latino families across the country,” Hillary for America National Political Director Amanda Renteria told NBC News.
“Bringing Lorella into our campaign is the next step in making sure families aren’t living in fear of deportation, all students have the chance to go to college, and that any comprehensive immigration reform ensures full and equal citizenship,” Renteria added.
Campaigning in Nevada early this month with DREAMers — illegal immigrants brought to the country as children, named so for the DREAM Act — Hillary Clinton vowed “to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers – including many with us today – at risk of deportation.”
“And, if Congress refuses to act, as president I will do everything possible under the law to go even further. There are more people – like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities – who deserve a chance to stay. I’ll fight for them too,” she added.
Clinton’s campaign released a fact sheet on her plans for comprehensive immigration reform, stressing that anything from Congress “must include nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship.”
She told the Nevada audience that she would put in place “a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.”
She also vowed to “reform immigration enforcement and detention practices so they’re more humane, more targeted, and more effective.”
Clinton spoke of being a child and watching farmworkers — referring to them as “really, really tired people” — going to work in fields near Chicago.
“So you know where I stand and there can be no question about it because I will do everything I can as president and during this campaign to make this case,” she said. “Now I know there are people who disagree with me and I want them to have a conversation with me. The facts are really clear, we know how much people who are working hard contribute to our economy both in what they buy and what they pay in taxes.”
Her campaign also pointed out that in 1972, “Hillary helped register Latino voters in south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley while working on George McGovern’s presidential campaign.”
“Hillary’s commitment to America’s immigrants was evident as Secretary of State, where she called immigration a ‘source of our vitality and innovative spirit’ and called for us to ‘work together to address these challenges’ so that immigration could ‘continue to be an enormous advantage for the United States, one that bears directly and crucially on our economic and geopolitical prospects,’” her campaign added.