Astrid Silva’s own future hangs within the balance.
In President Donald Trump’s first address into a joint session of Congress, he doubled documented on many of his hard-line promises on immigration.
In the hourlong address, the president discussed the roll-out of a southern border wall and boasted about his administration’s revved-up method of deporting undocumented immigrants. He unveiled plans for any new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office and brought with him as guests people that lost close relatives to violence committed by undocumented immigrants.
Though many have praised Trump’s more presidential modulation of voice, the policies spelled out in his speech are exactly the same ones he’s touted since start of his campaign. As Bloomberg’s Joshua Green reported, a senior White House official described Trump’s speech as “nationalism having an indoor voice.”
It’s Trump’s harsh and demonizing stance on immigration that made Astrid Silva’s Spanish-language reply to Trump’s address — delivered on the part of the Democratic party — critical.
Silva was exposed to the United States when he was 4. A beneficiary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order that enables undocumented immigrants who located the U.S. with a young age to be as long as they meet certain criteria, Silva’s own immigration status remains up inside the air under Trump. She, like in excess of 750,000 other DACA recipients, faces an uncertain future that has the possibility of being deported back into a country she’s never known.
Silva speaking for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.
On Tuesday night, Silva pushed back on Trump’s rhetoric, making the truth for immigrants like herself:
2Nor should we be spending huge amounts of dollars building walls and funding deportation forces.
Silva introduces Obama after a November 2014 speech on immigration. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
In February, Reuters reported that Trump’s border wall will set you back an estimated $21.6 billion. Trump also promised to use 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and 5,000 Border Patrol agents. The fact remains, however, which the number of people seeking to cross the U.S. border illegally is for a near-40-year low. Putting resources into ICE, Border Patrol, along with an expensive wall seems unwarranted.