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She Can't Vote. 2020 Dems Are Swooning Over Her Anyway

Meet Astrid Silva, a very public face of DACA
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2019 8:18 AM CST

(Newser) – One of the most sought-after presidential endorsements in a key early voting state is from a woman who cannot vote. As Democrats jockey for support in Nevada, a meeting with Astrid Silva, a 31-year-old immigrant rights activist who has become a public face of the “Dreamers,” is a can’t-miss early stop. Silva has had dinner with Kamala Harris, policy roundtables with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, and vegan tamales with Cory Booker, reports the AP. Just this week, after Pete Buttigieg noticed she attended Supreme Court arguments on the program shielding her from deportation, he called to make sure she knew he supported her cause. “Presidential wannabes, when they come here—I don’t know a single one that hasn’t met with her,” says former Sen. Harry Reid, who helped elevate Silva’s profile during his push for immigration reform. “Candidates are well served to visit with her.”

Silva’s busy calendar highlights the power of Latino voters in Nevada, the third state on Democrats’ primary calendar. The state has a large immigrant community, and Latinos account for roughly 19% of the electorate. While immigration has taken a back seat to health care and impeachment nationally, it remains on the forefront for Nevada Democrats, many of whom want candidates to permanently protect Dreamers and offer a path to citizenship. Silva, one of Nevada's 13,000 young immigrants temporarily shielded from deportation under DACA, has become a visible figure in the push for immigration reform since meeting Reid in 2009. President Obama cited her in a 2014 speech, and she spoke at the 2016 DNC. Amid all the attention, Silva is wary. "Right now, they could be talking really nice, but when they have to go moderate ... we are the first to be on the cutting board because we don’t vote. We can’t vote."

(Read more Astrid Silva stories.)

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