Philadelphia, PA – Monday night at the 2016 Democratic National Convention featured four remarkable speakers from Nevada: 11-year-old Karla Ortiz and her undocumented mother Francisca Ortiz, DREAMer and immigration reform advocate Astrid Silva, and Nevada State Senator Pat Spearman. Here’s a look at some of the press coverage:
Las Vegas Sun: Nevada lawmaker addresses LGBTQ rights, jabs Trump
Spearman, who is black, a veteran, a minister and gay, questioned how Trump could frame himself as LGBTQ-friendly and choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a running mate. Pence signed a law that allowed businesses to turn away LGBTQ customers if they felt it conflicted with their faith.
“(Pence) used religion as a weapon to discriminate and the state lost millions of dollars as a result,” Spearman said. “As a lesbian, that hurts me. As a person of faith, that offends me. And as a legislator working hard to create jobs, that baffles me.”
She said that Trump and Pence would “strip away the progress we have fought so hard to win.”
Las Vegas Sun: Nevadans share immigration stories, tout Clinton at DNC
“Valiente — brave,” Karla Ortiz said, standing beside her mother, Francisca Ortiz. “That’s what Hillary Clinton called me when I told her I was worried my parents would be deported.”
But she doesn’t feel brave every day.
“Most days I’m scared at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave and I wonder what if I come home and find it empty,” she said.
However, she said she has “esperanza” — hope. She said that Clinton told her that she would do everything she can to help her family.
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegas immigrants take center stage at Democratic convention
The families of Astrid and the Ortizes gathered in Las Vegas at the Culinary Local 226 office to watch the speeches on television.
Silva’s mother, Barbara, nodded along as her daughter recounted their journey to America and growing up as a worker who was in the country illegally.
Barbara Silva, a 53-year-old immigrant from Veracruz, Mexico, who is in the country illegally, said hearing their story told to millions of people watching was an emotional experience.
“I’m so very, very proud of her,” Barbara Silva said of Astrid afterward. “She’s my hero.”
She said her daughter is fighting for the 11 million immigrants who are living in America illegally.
Barbara Silva said she and her husband, Caesar, 56, work and pay taxes and that people like them shouldn’t have to fear deportation.
Reno Gazette-Journal: Speakers highlight policies on immigration, inclusiveness
Karla Ortiz, 11, charmed the delegates as she told of her fears that her parents, who are in the country illegally, might be deported.
She was joined on stage by her mother, Francisca Ortiz, and recalled Hillary Clinton telling her she was brave when the two met during a campaign stop.
Karla was born in Las Vegas and therefore is a U.S. citizen
“On most days, I’m scared,” she said. “What if I come home and find it empty?”
Karla said she wants to grow up to be a lawyer and help other people.
“She (Clinton) wants me to have the worries of an 11-year-old, not the weight of the world on my shoulders,” Karla said.
“Excitement,” Silva told me recently at a voter registration event when I asked her what she was feeling about tonight. “It’s a huge responsibility to not only represent my community that’s undocumented, but also our state of Nevada – that we matter,” Silva said.
Silva was brought to this country as a little girl. Now a Las Vegan, this is the home she knows. She is one of the thousands of young undocumented immigrants currently protected from deportation by the Obama administration’s deferred action program.
I asked her what she will talk about tonight. “It’s going to be about the importance of our families – continuing to fight our families,” Silva told me.
At 11, Karla Ortiz worries about things that a little girl should not have to, like whether her parents will be taken from her.
During the Democratic caucus in February, Ortiz told Hillary Clinton about her problem at an event in East Las Vegas. “My parents, they have a letter of deportation,” she said, and then proceeded to start crying when she continued to speak. Clinton asked her to come to her side and told her she would do everything in her power to prevent that from happening. The exchange became part of a Clinton campaign commercial titled, “Brave.”
Not long ago, young immigrant Astrid Silva was at home in Las Vegas, writing heartfelt letters concerning her fears about being in the country illegally to someone who became an unlikely pen pal — her home-state senator, Harry Reid.
She never expected that one of the most powerful men in Washington would not only read her handwritten notes, but become so moved that he deepened his commitment to immigration reform.
On Monday night, Silva, now 28, shared the prime-time stage with some of the country’s most prominent leaders, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at the Democratic National Convention.
“I’ve overwhelmed at how far our families have come, because we haven’t given up and we’ve become stronger,” Silva said ahead of her speech. “No matter how much we have been pushed around, we don’t back down.”
Hers is an only-in-America immigrant story — the unlikely rise of a child who arrived in the United States crossing the border with Mexico as a 4-year-old, carrying her Ken doll. Today she is widely seen as one of the new faces of Democratic leadership.
Democrats focused on immigration on the first day of their convention, giving speaking slots to a DREAMer, a daughter of undocumented immigrants and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a staunch pro-immigrant activist.
Karla Ortiz, an 11-year-old whose parents are undocumented immigrants living in Las Vegas, said Hillary Clinton asked her to stop worrying because she “would do the worrying for us.”
Ortiz, who is featured in a Clinton campaign ad, said she is “scared that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave.”
Clinton, who is expected to accept the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, has made immigration reform a keystone of her campaign, promising to present a bill to Congress in the first 100 days of her presidency.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has been at loggerheads with Hispanics since the first day of his campaign, when he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” who “bring crime” to the country.
On Monday night, Karla took the podium with her mother, Francesca. “I don’t feel brave every day,” she said. “On most days I’m scared… that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave. […] I want my parents to see me do science experiments and find my rare rocks in the desert. I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families.”
“Soy Americana. I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada,” Karla said to loud cheers. “[Hillary Clinton] wants me to have the worries of an 11-year-old, not the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
The speech got a standing ovation in the arena, and a burst of support on social media. Looks like someone should start preparing her own campaign in a few decades.