Most days, Karla Ortiz says she feels scared. Scared that her parents, Latinos who immigrated illegally to the U.S., will be deported and that her family will be torn apart.
“I’m scared that at any moment, my mom and my dad will be forced to leave,” Ortiz told the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “I wonder, what if I come home and find it empty?”
The 11-year-old American citizen drew cheers and applause from Democrats as she outlined her dreams for the future in a primetime convention speech. Ortiz, born in Nevada, met Hillary Clinton earlier this year during a campaign stop in Nevada. Their interaction, where Ortiz first expressed a fear her family would be broken up, became a Clinton campaign ad.
“I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families, like us. I have hope,” Ortiz said as her mother, Francisca, stood by her side. “(Clinton) wants me to have the worries of an 11-year-old, not the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
The crowd cheered as Ortiz and her mother spoke in Spanish and finished their speech with, “Clinton for president!”