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Local Dreamer Astrid Silva shares spotlight with President Trump

Astrid Silva is no stranger to the national spotlight – she spoke before the Democratic National Convention last summer.

But Tuesday evening, Silva will be delivering the Spanish-language version of the Democratic response, having a potential platform seen by millions of Americans.

“For me, it’s really important that our president know that he should be governing for all Americans, and not just those who voted for him,” Silva told me by phone from Washington. “Also, it’s a message for our family members that are at home this evening and living in fear of being deported.”

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Silva’s parents brought her to this country when she was 4 and has lived in Las Vegas since she was 5. She’s among the 750,000 young people who have been protected from deportation by former President Obama’s Deferred Action Program, which allowed law-abiding young undocumented immigrants to remain in this country.

Silva will be the guest tonight of Nevada's new senator – Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto – and will watch the speech from the Congressional Gallery.

“It’s important that many people see the real faces of the families that are being impacted,” Masto said.

“I think Astrid is the epitome of what it means to be, quote unquote, an American citizen, right?” says immigration activist Francisco Morales, adding, “somebody who’s been super-engaged in the Democratic process, even though she can’t even vote.”

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President Trump won election – and took office – promising a tougher line on illegal immigration, necessary, he says, to safeguard the country and protect America’s middle class economy that has been hurt by lower-wage undocumented workers.

While President Trump calls "Dreamers" incredible kids, he has not ruled out ending their program and their protection. And that's what scares local Dreamer Blanca Gamez.

“I grew up in this country. This is the only country that I know of, and I've never been to Mexico ... don't have family - don't have roots there,” says Gamez.

Gamez's parents brought her here when she was 7 months old.

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“But the thing is every time he does an Executive Order, it continues to affect my parents who are undocumented in this country. So that's a fear that I have to face – at 27 years old – the fear that one day I'm going to wake up and my mother is not going to be there anymore,” Gamez says.

It’s a fear Silva knows as she speaks to a president – and a nation.

“Most importantly, I hope to make our state proud,” Silva says.

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