Democrats gave undocumented immigrants and their concerns a featured role on the first day of the Democratic National Convention on Monday in Philadelphia, drawing sharp contrasts with Donald Trump and his hardline proposals on immigration.
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Karla Ortiz, an 11-year-old daughter of undocumented immigrants whose tearful embrace with Clinton at a Nevada event became a campaign ad, spoke on stage with her mother Francisca about the fear and insecurity surrounding her parents’ circumstances.
“I’m scared that at any moment, my mom and my dad will be forced to leave,” she said. “I wonder, what if I come home and find it empty?”
The young Ortiz –- who said she wants to go to law school and become an immigration lawyer -– was followed by Astrid Silva, an undocumented immigrant and activist who decried Trump’s proposal to deport the undocumented.
“When Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart,” she said.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat who would likely play a leading role in any effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform in a Clinton administration, called Trump’s proposal a “sick, hateful fantasy.”
“I will raise my voice against the bigot who thinks a judge born in Indiana can’t do his job because his parents were born in Mexico,” Gutierrez said, referring to Trump’s criticism of an Indiana-born judge of Mexican descent who is presiding over a lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University.
Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia have pledged to work on immigration reform in their first 100 days of office.