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Day Two of the Democratic National Convention will feature an historic occurrence – DREAM Act advocate Benita Veliz will speak to the assembled delegates and television audience during the 9 PM hour. Following a video focused on immigration policy, Benita will take the stage to share her own personal story, applaud the DREAM documentation program recently announced by the Obama Administration, and make the continued case for a permanent, legislative solution.
“The strength and courage of the DREAM movement has led to historic policy breakthroughs and now leads to the televised stage of a national political convention,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “It’s a testament to Benita Veliz and the hundreds of thousands of similar stories she represents that the DREAM movement has come this far and continues to work so hard – Benita and her fellow DREAMers are an inspiration.”
As Huffington Post noted of Benita’ story:
After her parents brought her to Texas from Mexico at the age eight, Veliz graduated from high school two years early as a National Merit Scholar and as her class valedictorian. She then graduated from St. Mary’s University, which she attended on a full academic merit scholarship. But in 2009, she said a small driving error threatened her ability to stay in the only country she knows. Veliz neglected to make a complete stop at a stop sign, prompting a police officer to pull her over. Deportation proceedings were then initiated when it was discovered she was undocumented.
Though she was eventually spared deportation, Benita and fellow DREAMers still continue to advocate for a lasting solution that will allow these aspiring Americans to give back to the nation they call home.
Starting at around 9 PM EST, you can watch Benita’s speech live on C-Span streaming. In the meantime, here’s a preview of Benita, from her high school valedictorian speech: