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Why We’ve Never Forgotten Little Sophie Cruz

 

Earlier today we shared Univision journalist Jorge Ramos’s must-read column about Sophie Cruz, the young girl who captured our hearts during Pope Francis’s US tour late last year.

We always knew that the Pope’s visit to the United States would touch on immigration, but Sophie’s heroic actions that day showed us all how much is truly at stake until our nation’s immigration system is updated.

In a moment televised all over the US, Sophie attempted to pass through the security barricade as the Pope’s motorcade passed through downtown D.C. For a moment it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to pass — until Pope Francis spotted her and motioned to his security to let her through. The crowd cheered as Francis and Sophie — the US-citizen daughter of undocumented immigrants — embraced.

Later we found out that Sophie had given Pope Francis a letter asking him to fight for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, immigrants like her parents, and a shirt reading “Papa Rescate DAPA” — “Pope Rescue DAPA”.

“Every day I am scared that one day they will take them away from me,” read Sophie’s brave letter. “I believe I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy.”

“My dad works very hard in a factory galvanizing pieces of metal. All immigrants, just like my dad, need this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect. They deserve an immigration reform because it benefits my country. Don’t forget about the children, or anyone that suffers because they don’t have their parents.”

Sophie has gone on to become one of our movement’s youngest — but certainly not smallest — voices. This past December, she starred in a video sharing with the nation what the mass-deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants would mean, particularly for the estimated 4.5 million US citizen children with undocumented parents, children just like her and her little sister.

And earlier this month, Sophie serenaded an emotional Ramos — one of the nation’s leading journalists — with a Spanish-language poem during the morning show, Despierta América.

As Ramos noted in his new column, Sophie’s story helps us see “we are faced with two visions for America’s future these days. Trump promotes hate, division and deportation. Sophie wants to keep her family together and protect other immigrants like her parents. I believe in Sophie’s vision much more.”

And so do we.