- The Washington Times - Friday, February 24, 2017

Democrats have tapped an illegal immigrant “Dreamer” to deliver the Spanish-language response to President Trump’s speech to Congress next week, elevating the fight over immigration policy that’s come to dominate the first weeks of the new administration.

Astrid Silva, who is in the country under protection of President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty, also spoke at Democrats’ presidential convention last summer.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also announced that former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver the English response.

Ms. Silva said in a statement released by the two leaders that her story deserves a voice in the debate.

“President Trump would have people believe that all immigrants are criminals and that refugees are terrorists. But like my family, the vast majority of immigrants and refugees came to this country escaping poverty and conflict, looking for a better life and the opportunity to reach the American Dream,” she said.

Ms. Silva was brought to the U.S. illegally at the age of 5. She’s been an activist in the community of Dreamers, the young adult illegal immigrants who have proved to be the most sympathetic figures in the debate.

Mr. Trump has said he would treat Dreamers with “heart,” and has exempted them even as he has announced policies to restore the list of people eligible for deportation to pre-Obama administration levels.

Indeed, Dreamers caught by immigration agents are being released, just as they were under the Obama administration — though one, in Washington state, has been detained after agents said he admitted to having gang ties, which would make him ineligible for the 2012 Deferred Action program.

His case has become a rallying point for activists, who say Homeland Security has fabricated evidence against the man and are demanding his immediate release.

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