As the Democratic National Convention (DNC) kicks off today in Philadelphia, the contrast between the two parties could not be more clear or consequential. As evidenced by Trump’s convention speech, the Republicans view America as a dangerous place in which immigrants are contributing to its decline. As evidenced by its speaker lineup, the Democrats view America as a multiracial, multi ethnic democracy striving to welcome hard working immigrants and extend equality of opportunity to all.
Writing for BuzzFeed, Adrian Carrasquillo highlights the two parties’ contrasting visions of immigrants in America. His piece is entitled, “The Democrats’ Biggest Congrats With Trump’s Immigration Vision Will Be a Family.” It is excerpted below:
“The Democrats will be presenting a starkly different immigration message this week during their convention — especially around the issue of undocumented immigration.
At the RNC, Donald Trump described a violent America, which featured the suffering of innocents at the hands of vicious undocumented immigrants; the convention also featured people whose son or daughter had been killed by an undocumented immigrant.
In Philadelphia, the Democratic National Convention will present three faces from Nevada by way of Mexico: a young woman, Astrid Silva a DREAMer activist; and Karla and Francisca Ortiz, a 10-year-old U.S. citizen girl and her undocumented mother, who will all speak at the convention Monday.
In October 2013, after a lawyer repeatedly accepted money from the Ortiz family but didn’t help them, immigration agents came to detain Karla Ortiz’ father. His status, and her mother’s, are perilous. They were given an order of deportation but were granted a stay after Sen. Harry Reid and former Rep. Steven Horsford intervened.
During the lead up to the February Nevada caucus, Karla Ortiz was in the audience for a Clinton event with DREAMers, including Silva, and their parents. It wasn’t planned for her to ask a question, but she did, and the moment was captured by videographers that trail Clinton.
Karla Ortiz began to cry, asking Clinton to protect her parents. A glassy-eyed Clinton told the young girl she was being very brave and to let her do the worrying. From the experience, the campaign produced an ad titled ‘Brave’ that was effective, particularly in Nevada.
After, in a note Karla Ortiz wrote to Clinton, obtained by BuzzFeed News, she said that growing up she went to court a lot and never knew why her parents were always crying.
‘One day my heart hurt and they took me to the doctor,’ Karla wrote. ‘The doctor said that my heart speeds up and that he thought it was because I was afraid all the time. The doctor told my mom that she had to take care of my heart because fear could make me sick.’
The moment on Monday will be striking. Karla Ortiz will speak, but so will her mother — in Spanish, with her daughter translating for her, a reality that many children of immigrants have dealt with for decades and continue to deal with.
‘When you become the voice of your parent, you are thrown into being an adult when you are a kid,’ one Clinton staffer said.
Silva, the second DREAMer to speak at the DNC, will be one of the headliners Monday. Lorella Praeli, an activist turned staffer who is running the Latino vote program for the campaign, said DREAMers have been normalized in a way parents haven’t been yet, which represents progress for the immigration movement…”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The Republicans depict immigrants as ‘them’ and a threat to ‘us,’ while the Democrats depict immigrants as a welcome part of the ‘us.’ Trump walls off our history as a nation of immigrants, while Clinton promises to enact reform that enables us to be both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. The GOP says immigrants are murderers, while Democrats say they are hard working families that are Americans in all but paperwork. Trump and the Republicans have a bleak and false view of our past and our future, while Clinton and the Democrats get that immigrants are a defining feature of our past and our future. The contrast is clear and the choice is even clearer.”