DREAMer Astrid Silva: “The plans and vision of Trump and the Republicans go completely against our values as Democrats, as Americans, and as human beings”

Via the Washington Post, DREAMer Astrid Silva responds to the Republican’s president and his plans for an American dystopia …

“This [speech] serves as evidence and notice that the plans and vision of Trump and the Republicans go completely against our values as Democrats, as Americans, and as human beings.”

In Spanish-Language Response, Activist Says Trump Is Inspiring Discrimination

Astrid Silva, a 28-year-old immigration activist from Nevada, delivered the Democrats’ Spanish-language response, seeking to cast the president’s policies and comments about immigrants in the U.S. illegally as divisive and destructive to millions of otherwise law-abiding families.

She spoke of the case of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an Arizona mother thought to be among the first immigrants deported as a result of Trump’s executive order that widely expanded the category of immigrants whom the government considers deportation priorities.

“Today Guadalupe is far from her children who are U.S. citizens and who are an example of the great impact that Trump’s actions have over the American people in general, not just on the undocumented community,” Silva said in the remarks that aired on several Spanish-language networks, including Univision and Telemundo.

“In this country, there is no space for discrimination, racial profiling or persecution,” Silva said. “But sadly, this is what the Trump administration has brought forth for Latinos and immigrants.”

Full transcript: Transcript and Video: Astrid Silva’s Full Response to Trump’s Congressional Joint Address (English & Spanish)

“Good evening, my name is Astrid Silva and I’m a DREAMer and activist from the great state of Nevada. My family came to this country when I was 4 years old, looking for a better life. And like many of you, this is the only home I know.

It is an honor for me to be here today to give the Democratic response to President Trump’s first joint address to Congress.

“I’m here representing Democrats, Latinos, and the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are an integral part of this country and who embody the values and the promise of America. The same ones that President Trump is threatening with his mass deportation plan.

“The speech we heard moments ago from President Trump was divisive and aims to cause fear in communities across the country. It serves as evidence and reminder that President Trump and Republicans’ vision and plan for the United States, go completely against our values as Democrats, as Americans, and as human beings.

“The United States is not a country guided by hatred, fear, and division, as Trump makes it seem. Our country is guided by respect, hard work, sacrifice, opportunity, and hope.

“In this country there is no space for discrimination, racial profiling, or persecution. But sadly, this is what the Trump Administration has brought forth for Latinos and immigrants.

“During his first weeks as President, Trump signed executive orders that endanger our entire community. He took actions that focus specifically on hurting immigrants and refugees. He is spending resources on targeting working immigrant families for deportation, he wants to spend billions of dollars to build an unnecessary border wall, and he’s looking for ways to deny entry to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

“He made it very clear during his presidential campaign that he wanted his supporters to believe that all immigrants are criminals and refugees are terrorists.

“And recently, he directed immigration enforcement agents to arrest and deport any undocumented person they find, essentially legalizing racial profiling and setting in motion his mass deportation plan.

Among the people that ICE arrested, are mothers, fathers, DREAMers with DACA, a victim of domestic violence, and many more.

“As a matter of fact, tonight in the gallery listening to President Trump’s speech where Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos’ children, a working mother from Arizona who went to her appointment with ICE only to be arrested and deported without reason. Today Guadalupe is far from her children who are U.S. citizens and who are an example of the great impact that Trump’s actions have over the American people in general, not just on the undocumented community.

“These people should not be ICE’s target or priority. This is not who we are as a country.

“President Trump is taking us back to some of the darkest times in our history: criminalizing anyone who is different, pitting us against each other, and sending the wrong message to the rest of the world, helping to breed anger and hate from terrorist groups to our country.

“But we must remember that this is a kind country that is full of hope, where freedom of expression rules, and the people are powerful.

“Instead of mass deportations, President Trump should focus on creating jobs and growing our economy. He should recognize immigrants’ great contributions to our country, of which he has benefited as well.

“Instead of separating families, President Trump should pass comprehensive immigration reform that honors our country’s tradition of welcoming immigrants.

“Instead of closing the door on Muslims and insulting countries around the world, President Trump should work with our allies to combat and defeat ISIS and other terrorist, and seek peace.

“Instead of standing behind oil companies and special interests, undoing the progress we’ve made to combat climate change, President Trump should be a leader and protect the quality of our air and our water. Because we only have one planet, and if we destroy it, what are we going to leave for our children?

“Latinos suffer more from asthma than other groups. The state of our environment is key to our wellbeing.

“Instead of getting rid of the ACA, which gave health insurance to millions of Latinos, Trump and Republicans should make improvements to the program so it can cover more people and cost less.

“Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, even though community clinics provide preventive and primary medical care for hundreds of thousands of people.

“Across the country, people are attending town hall meetings with their Republican Senators and Members of Congress showing their discontent over the possibility that they’ll take away health insurance from millions of people, many of whom can’t pay for it on their own. Republicans must listen to these people and assure that the almost 30 million Americans don’t lose their coverage.

“Instead of hiring millionaires, billionaires, and Wall Street executives DeVos, for his cabinet, President Trump should keep his campaign promise of working for the wellbeing of the American people.

“Our schools need more funding, our teachers need better salaries, and our vulnerable children need protections. We don’t need a Secretary of Education, like Betsy DeVos, who has worked to damage our public education system and has benefitted economically from taking money away from our schools.

“We’re getting close to the confirmation process for Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Now more than ever we need a counter for an out of control administration. President Trump attacked our Justice system, and Judge Gorsuch must probe that he’ll be an independent judge who won’t owe himself to this administration.

“We are living in uncertain times that are completely abnormal. In which the administration constantly questions the media and tries to actively destroy their credibility.

“We can’t let these actions become normalized.

“This merits that those of us who understand what’s at risk for women, for the LGBTQ community, for our environment, for workers, immigrants, young people, and refugees, work together to protect our communities from deportation, violence, and discrimination. That’s the only way to safeguard the values that make our country great.

“Immigrants and refugees are the heart and soul, and the promise of this country. And we are not alone.

“Democrats have vowed to fight for us and for the middle class.

“They are our frontline against President Trump and Republicans’ harmful policies – in Congress, in the Senate, in the courts, and in the streets.

“Democrats understand that we need to protect immigrant families that we need better our infrastructure, that we need better jobs with higher salaries, and that the cost of college tuition is too high. We need to make changes so that education, the great equalizer, is at within everyone’s reach.

“Democrats want equality, respect, and opportunity for all because we know that our nation is stronger when we treat each other with respect and work together for the common good.

“I’ve had the luck of growing up surrounded by my family and realizing my aspirations. I was able to go to school and college, earning an associate in arts from the College of Southern Nevada and my bachelor’s from the Nevada State college. I’m a living example of the promise of America. And I know Democrats will keep fighting for the promise of a better life for everyone.

“President Trump and Republicans can use calmer rhetoric and appear to moderate, but we know that words are cheap and actions matter.

“I’m here today to tell you that Democrats have our back, and to ask you to keep fighting and don’t let down, because we’re in this together.

“May God bless you. Thank you and good night.”

(Spanish text at the link)



  1. Meanwhile, in the alternate universe of privileged punditry, the Republican’s president is lauded as acting presidential for not soiling himself.

    Democratic Twitter is having none of it …

    Let’s do it!!!

  2. Slate: The Night Cable Pundits Fell Over Themselves to Declare Trump “Presidential”

    On Tuesday night, Donald Trump managed to speak for an entire hour without sounding like an unhinged demagogue. For that, he was hailed by TV pundits across the spectrum who acted as though he’d just singlehandedly defeated ISIS and restored the fortunes of the American middle class, instead of simply reading from a script that said he would do those things. […]

    CNN was not alone in this: NBC’s analysts were all aglow in the wake of Trump’s speech, and Fox News’ personalities were practically doing backflips around the studio. Keep in mind this was all on a night in which Trump—fine, without raising his voice—detailed grotesque plans to create an office dedicated exclusively to “victims of immigration crime.” […]

    It takes a nasty case of recency bias for a political analyst to toss aside everything Trump has said and and done in his career to date and declare him “presidential” on the basis of a single impressive speech. It takes thick blinders to watch him move a war widow to tears and not see the hypocrisy at work in Trump’s willingness to profit politically from her husband’s death—even as he evades responsibility for it. And it takes a combination of shallowness and smarm that is peculiar to the mainstream media’s pundit class to ignore the rank xenophobia and fearmongering that characterized Trump’s speech and focus almost exclusively on his oratorical virtuosity.

    “Recency bias”, the same thing which enabled the rise of the same party that led us into the Great Recession to return with a portfolio of the same trickle-down economics and deregulation fever that crashed our economy eight looooooong years ago.

  3. Ed Kilgore: Congressional Republicans Were Desperately Hoping For More Information From Trump. He Gave Them None.

    President Donald Trump gave a pretty good speech to a joint session of Congress tonight. He followed the script, and threw in some unexpected rhetorical flourishes like a shout-out to civil rights and outrage about anti-Semitic incidents at the very beginning. But if one of its main functions was to give confused congressional Republicans some clear direction on the big agenda items that are about to be fulfilled or squandered, it was a total washout.

    Republicans are practically at each other’s throats over how to repeal and replace Obamacare — the party’s top policy priority. Trump has in the past complicated this effort by endorsing a quick replacement plan — on which Republicans are far from agreement — and by insisting the new plan cover as many people as the system being demolished. He did almost nothing tonight address the quandaries his fellow Republicans face on health care policy, other than a brief statement of support for the idea of tax credits to help pay for insurance, presumably a rebuke to conservatives who openly worried such credits would represent a new entitlement. […]

    The huge gaps of information in Trump’s speech are not just a matter of a refusal to give guidance to congressional Republicans who are all over the map on Obamacare and taxes and the budget, and cannot spare more than a few dissenting votes. He also failed to give Americans the details that separate bogus and magical promises from an actual, realizable agenda. Yes, it would be nice if Congress could fix health care and reform the tax code and set budget priorities without making tough choices. But that is simply not possible. And for all the rave reviews Trump received for delivering an upbeat message tonight, it was mainly upbeat because it dodged all the real questions.

  4. AP – Analysis: Trump pivot pleases GOP, but will it last?

    Donald Trump finally gave Republicans what they’ve spent months begging him to deliver: a pivot to presidential.

    The question now is how long it lasts. Days, weeks, months – or simply until the next tweet? […]

    But while his prime-time address to Congress and the nation wrapped his nationalistic politics in prose that was more presidential, it is unlikely to overcome the deep divisions created by his first few weeks in office.

    For a candidate who sold himself as a master dealmaker, Trump has shown little inclination to get deeply involved with the kind of nitty gritty negotiating that defines the legislative process.

    That’s left the Capitol reeling.

    Republicans have united control for the first time in decades but no agreement over the specifics of long-promised plans to repeal “Obamacare” and revamp the tax code. The federal civil service is in not-so-subtle revolt. And weeks of protests and raucous town halls are putting fresh political pressure on lawmakers from both parties to resist his agenda.

    The stakes are high not only in terms of policy but politics: If the GOP is unable to make good on years of election promises, they could enter the midterm elections in a far weaker position than expected.

  5. Matt Yglesias: Trump is performing the role of president, not doing the job

    He doesn’t want to be president, he just wants to play one on TV.

    The Donald Trump Show is getting stale, old, and, frankly, a little bit boring.

    President Trump’s big speech before Congress on Tuesday night was the epitome of the show. There was the gross hypocrisy of “the time for trivial fights is behind us,” the campy propagandism of creating a Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office, the prepared remarks in all caps calling to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

    Trump knows a thing or two about publicity stunts.

    Shorn of context, to witness a president of the United States deliver a speech so devoid of the customary humility or sense of America’s role in the world would be shocking. Just as it would ordinarily be shocking to see a president attacking the media as the “enemy of the American people” or denouncing a “so-called judge” or any of the other dozen or so bizarre things that Trump does in a given week.

  6. Thanks for this round up, JanF. The media fail is so complete and so thorough that I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it. Have they already forgotten being declared the enemy? Being barred from gaggles? Being mocked and derided as purveyors of fake news? What right-thinking person forgets that so quickly and decides to trust and elevate the person who has debased them so consistently?

    Beyond the narrow self-interest of the media, there’s the more important issue of the sheer ugliness and hatefulness that the Republican administration is selling. I can’t even imagine being so self-involved as to forget the families that have been and will be harmed by Republican policies. No one is going to be exempt from the repercussions, but apparently the pundit class is either too sheltered or too stupid to realize this.

  7. 6 RW corporations own 90% of the media and influence the rest. The media will peddle the meme they are told to peddle. We have to find a way to circumvent them long enough to get enough power to break that consortium up.

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