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From One Dreamer To Another: Thank you for your bravery, Astrid Silva

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Dear Astrid,

How are you holding up after delivering such a fierce and powerful response to Donald Trump’s first Congressional address?

I can’t believe the amount excitement, exhaustion, and anxiety that you must be currently experiencing. I know how hard you have worked on behalf of our immigrant community throughout the years, and that speeches like one are nothing new to you, but I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t concerned about you and your family.

As Dreamers, we have proven time and time again that we are fearless and resilient. You have always worn the “undocumented and unafraid” label bright and proudly, and I couldn’t dream of a better spokesperson for our community than yourself.

However, these are different and scarier times. I have already witnessed some of the horrific online attacks, accusations, and insults that have been thrown at you and your family. Those have always existed, but they sting harder as the uncertainty about our future, and that of 11 million undocumented immigrants, continues to grow on a daily basis.

I hope that neither you nor your family are letting any of that negativity get to you. Your words last night gave hope to millions of families who, just like mine, go to bed every night worried that they may be separated from their children or that their pursuit of a better life may be derailed by Donald Trump’s mass deportation agenda.

My mother messaged me last night to tell me she had seen you on TV, and that she felt comfort in your bravery to stand up to Trump’s policies. She followed up by telling me that she knew “everything would be OK,” just as long there are people like you and I fighting on behalf of our communities. “I know that we will win; eventually,” my mother said “because I see brave and hard-working people like Astrid go the extra mile for our community. I am so proud of her, and you [Juan] for everything you guys do on behalf of us as your parents. Thank you.”

I can only imagine that similar sentiments echoed in many households all across America.

Your words and role in this movement have reassured immigrants and refugee families that they are, in fact, the heart and soul, and the promise of this country.

All I can say is thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being who you are and doing what you do. I am happy to know you and call you a friend, but above all, I am thrilled to see that Dreamers like yourself have not given up despite all of the threats and policies the Trump Administration has made against our families and us.

Please know that I too will continue to fight for what is right – regardless of the odds. There will be some good days, and there will be some bad days – that is for sure.

However, we must always hold on and never give up on the idea that immigrant and refugee families, regardless of where they come from, are American families.

Thank you for your tireless work. You truly are an embodiment of the values and the promises of America.

Un abrazo,

Juan Escalante