The One Democratic National Convention Attendee You Should Know About
On Monday, the second of America's two major party political conventions will be taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it figures to send a very different message than the RNC did. It's a safe bet there'll be less calls to lock up and/or execute the GOP nominee, for one. And while the Republicans had a downright unusual speaker list at points ― including actor Scott Baio, UFC president Dana White, and four out of Trump's own five children ― there's at least one Democratic convention attendee you should really know about, because you probably haven't heard her name before.
I'm talking about immigration reform proponent Astrid Silva, the Las Vegas activist who's become a high-profile representative of the DREAMers. She's gotten some attention in Democratic politics before, as President Obama cited her story during the announcement of his 2014 executive action on immigration reform. With a tearful Silva watching, as MSNBC detailed, Obama spoke of how she was brought to the United States by her family as a 4-year-old, and the drive and perseverance under threat of discovery and deportation that she showed, ultimately getting accepted to college and earning three different degrees. In short, hers is an inspirational story, and she's a powerful advocate for the rights of the undocumented.
SIlva, now a supporter of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, will be speaking on Monday, the opening night of the Democratic convention. You can rest assured she'll speak to her personal story, and how it reflects common themes, struggles, and challenges faced by young children who're brought into the country by their families illegally, and therefore often live in a state of wariness and fear about being discovered by immigration authorities. When President Obama told her story in 2014, this was a point he honed in on ― Silva's family initially urged her against applying to a magnet school, for fear that her immigration status (and the whole family's, therefore) would be discovered.
It's impossible to overlook the context Silva's remarks will be delivered in, too. The Republicans just wrapped up their nominating convention, and amid all the anti-Clinton and anti-Muslim vitriol, the drumbeat of anti-Latino immigrant sentiment was in full force, too. Perhaps the most glaring example came in just seven words spoken by Trump during his big speech ― seven words, notably, that weren't in the prepared for delivery speech released to the media beforehand. An ad-lib, or a last-minute rewrite, in other words: "We don't want them in our country!"
He was talking specifically about immigrants from countries "compromised by terrorism" ― although you get the sense he didn't mean French or Belgian immigrants, whose countries have in any sense of the word been "compromised" by terrorism. More important, however, was the bellowing way he delivered it, almost making it a standalone line that was sure to rile up adoring members of the racist, so-called "alt-right."
In other words, Silva's speech will likely stand out as a tacit and direct rebuke to virtually everything you saw at the RNC last week. If you're curious to watch, it's scheduled for Monday night, and while the exact time hasn't been released yet, she's billed as a headliner.