DREAMer activist, Astrid Silva, will join First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders as one of the keynote speakers tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Unless you’re well versed in President Obama’s immigration reform speeches, you probably haven’t heard of her.
Here’s what you need to know about Astrid Silva:
She’s an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.
Silva came to the United States with her parents when she was 4 years old. “Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on”, according to one of President Obama’s speeches about Silva. Since then, Silva has earned two associate degrees and is currently earning a bachelor’s degree at Nevada State University. The term ‘DREAMer’ refers to immigrants who meet the requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, an immigration reform bill that has failed to pass through Congress.
She’s the Organizing Director at the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
The alliance was founded in 1994 and it was meant to bring together organizations in Nevada to create a “cohesive force for social and environmental justice.” She also founded Dream Big Vegas, an organization for undocumented youth.
She’s been referred to as the “face” of immigration.
In 2014, when President Obama announced his plan for sweeping immigration reform, he told Silva’s story. She did not know President Obama was going to tell her journey to America. When Silva began to recognize her story, she started crying and fell into her friend’s arms.
She’s not the first undocumented immigrant to speak at the DNC.
That honor goes to Benita Veliz, of Mexico, who made history in 2012 when she became the first undocumented immigrant to address convention delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina.