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Democratic National Convention Digital Review: Day 1 & 2

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With the shift to an entirely virtual event, the Democratic National Convention is a somewhat unorthodox experiment this year as the country adjusts to this new reality of online campaigns. However, despite these constraints, many prominent members of the Democratic party were able to come together over the course of the first two nights of the convention to discuss the future of the progressive movement and the dire need for a blue wave this November. Although there were few references to immigration policy specifically, speakers focused on ideas of unity, progress, and the fact that we cannot beat this pandemic by scapegoating others. 

Former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders spoke candidly on these values on the first night of the convention, explaining that Americans are all yearning for unity and compassion amidst the crisis.

While Trump spent time this week in Arizona, accusing Joe Biden of holding radical ideas on immigration, the convention speakers embraced immigrants and the reality that many are working on the frontlines. One of the most powerful comments came from Aldo Martinez- a Dreamer from Florida who discussed his role as an essential worker during the pandemic. Aldo used his time on air to express concerns for the administration’s failings in addressing the public health crisis.

On the second night of the convention, the DNC also showcased the commitment of our elected officials in continuing the fight for a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants. Senator Schumer voiced his support of advancing immigration policy if Democrats take the Senate this November, giving a powerful speech in front of the Statue of Liberty about what can be accomplished.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed similar sentiments of justice and equality for all in her short but powerful speech, arguing that we need to “propose and build reimagined systems” that move away from the shameful themes of our country’s past.

One of the highlights of the night was the delegate roll call. While many wondered how this tradition would translate into a virtual affair, most online agreed that seeing each delegate in their home state was a perfect showcase of diversity, unity, and personal connection in the midst of the pandemic.

Speakers are expected to focus more on immigration policy issues in the remaining two nights of the convention, but the first two nights set a hopeful tone for the Party’s commitment to fighting racism and xenophobia in our country.