Karla Ortiz (L) waves on stage with her mother Francisca Ortiz during Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016. (Photo credit ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Tues. July 26, 2016: Karla Ortiz looks like just an unassuming 11-year-old, but the American-born daughter of undocumented immigrants left many at opening night of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia in tears as she shared her personal immigration story.
Karla appeared along with her undocumented mother, Latin American immigrant Francisca Ortiz to make the case for comprehensive immigration reform and to round up immigrant voters, and told those gathered in the Wells Fargo Center that she is worried her parents would be deported.
“Even when I was little my parents were always crying but I didn’t understand why,” she said, adding that she is American born in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Delegates, on the floor, protest the name of Hillary Clinton, and support their candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders. (Photo Credit: Mario B. Cabrera/Vision Fotos)
“My parents came here looking for a better life, for the American dream. But “on most days I’m scared. I’m scared that 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?,” Karla said as many in the audience cheered and cried openly.
She said she wants her parents to see her do science experiments and help her find my rare rocks in the dessert and relayed how Hillary Clinton called her “brave” when she told her about her parents’ woes.
But she added she does not feel brave every day. “I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families like us,” she said to applause. “I have hope. Hillary Clinton told me she will do everything she could to help us. She told me I didn’t have to worry as she will do the worrying for me and all of us. She wants me to have the worries of an 11-year-old not the weight of the world on my shoulder.”
Delegates, left, Alvin Peters, of Panama City, Florida, Ronnie Traylor and Rodney McFarland, Monroe Louisiana, speak on the floor. (Photo Credit: Mario B. Cabrera/ Vision Fotos)
Meanwhile, Mexican-born undocumented immigrant Astrid Silva, shared her own personal immigration story of how at age four her mother got into a raft with her and came across the border to the U.S. so she could be with her undocumented landscaper father in search of a better life.
She said growing her, she could not do “ordinary things” like other kids because of her undocumented status but today, after a journey of ten years, she has obtained her college degree from Nevada State College as a DREAMer, thanks to President Obama’s executive action.
But she said her family still live in constant fear that her parents could be taken away from their grandson Noah.
Silva then attacked Donald Trump’s immigration plan directly, noting that when the Republican Presidential nominee talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart.
“Hillary Clinton understands that this is not who we are as a country,” Silva added. “I know she will fight to keep our families together. I know she will.”