- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Blazing new ground for illegal immigrants, a mother here without authorization and her U.S. citizen child took to the stage of the Democratic convention Monday to demand legalization.

Karla Ortiz, 11, the U.S. citizen child, said in English that her parents “came here looking for a better life,” but now she lives in fear of her parents being deported.

“I don’t feel brave every day. On most days I’m scared. I’m scared that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave. I wonder what if I come home and I find it empty,” she said, joined by her mother Francisca Ortiz on the stage.

Ms. Ortiz, speaking in Spanish, said the immigration system is broken and punished parents working to provide for their children.

Minutes later another illegal immigrant, Astrid Silva, a Dreamer here under color of President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty, also took to the stage to blast GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“When Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart,” she said.

President Obama pioneered having a Dreamer speak at his 2012 convention, though her status was apparently more settled than that of Ms. Ortiz.

Where the Democratic convention this year is highlighting sympathetic illegal immigrants, the GOP convention last week featured parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrant criminals — a valedictorians versus victims dichotomy.

Earlier in the night the convention heard from Rep. Loretta Sanchez, whose parents came from Mexico, and who said she was appalled at Mr. Trump’s accusation that Mexico sends rapists, drug dealers and other bad elements to the U.S.

“What about my parents, Donald?” she said — pointing out that her parents are the first in American history to have two daughters serve together in Congress.

Also Monday, Sen. Tim Kaine, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, vowed a new Democratic administration would try to pass a bill legalizing illegal immigrants in the first 100 days of Hillary Clinton’s tenure.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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