Some Democrats attending this year's State of the Union are planning to send a strong political message for Donald Trump and the Congress. One of them, Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, is bringing Viviana Andazola Marquez with him to the event on Tuesday, according to The Denver Post. In doing so, Perlmutter seems to be sending an unequivocal and unapologetic message on Trump's immigration policy. After all, Marquez is the daughter of Melecio Andazola Morales who was deported by Trump's administration in December, 2017.
On Sunday night, Perlmutter tweeted, "Viviana's story is heartbreaking but it must be told as we work to develop humane and common sense immigration policy." Marquez told The Denver Post that she was hoping to tell her story to the lawmakers present at the event. She said:
What I think that I’d like to say to the rest of the lawmakers, the Democrats and Republicans alike, is that the policies that they are enacting are having real day-to-day consequences on people all across the nation — their constituents included. I really hope that they will think twice about what kind of deals they are making with Trump.
Marquez has Perlmutter's support who spoke of her father and said, "He learned English, he was paying taxes — doing everything right. These wrong-headed, I think, very cruel and stupid policies of the Trump administration are just causing such pain and anguish to people who don’t deserve it."
Perlmutter also said that he met Marquez's father and that "I was just very sad and angry that these policies of this administration could result in a deportation of somebody who was actually doing good things in America — raising a good family. Instead of keeping families together, the policies of this administration are to divide them."
Currently, Marquez is a Yale student and studies law with a special emphasis on race and immigration. Prior to joining Yale, Marqueze was on Perlmutter's youth advisory council. In October, Marquez wrote an emotional op-ed in The New York Times about her father. She wrote, "What happened to him is not an appropriate application of the law — it is cruelty. It’s not just my dad’s story. Under President Trump, every undocumented person living in the United States is a target, a deportation priority. This is a grave national security mistake."
In her heartfelt op-ed, Marquez also wrote that the administration was developing a national climate of "distrust and fear." She said that undocumented individuals in the United States have little to no "path" for following the law, instead they face the "jeopardy of detainment or removal."
For Trump, his very first State of the Union address may be politically tense given that young people like Marqueze will be present, possibly seeking answers from his administration for its stringent policy against undocumented men and women. But as the pressure builds on Trump to address his presidency's harsh stance on immigration, it's unclear whether the president has any plans to talk about the issue in his speech.
For now, it's clear that Perlmutter isn't the only politician who plans to bring someone like Marquez to the event. California Sen. Kamala Harris said that she would be bringing undocumented youth, Denea Joseph, with her as well.
In addition to Harris and Perlmutter, several more Democrats plan to place emphasis on the issue of fair immigration by bringing undocumented people or people related to undocumented individuals to the address. There's Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Kentucky Rep John Yarmuth, California Rep. Judy Chu, New York Rep. Nita Lowey, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, and others.