College student Astrid Silva never thought that President Obama would share her story during his Thursday evening address on immigration reform.
"It was shocking," she told MSNBC. "I didn't hear my name at first because everyone was clapping." Once the president began to share more personal details — that this girl only brought a cross, doll, and frilly dress with her when she came to the United States at the age of 4 — she realized he was talking about her.
Obama spoke about how Silva taught herself English by watching PBS and reading newspapers, and despite protests by her parents, applied to a technology magnet school — they were afraid their immigration status would be discovered. Silva decided to become an advocate for immigration reform when she realized that if she went to Mexico for her grandmother's funeral, she might not be able to come back to the U.S.
Obama's address gave Silva some peace of mind, she said. Her father has had an order of deportation since 2001, and Silva told MSNBC that her family lives with the fear "every single day they're going to take him and we'll never see him again." Now, though, she believes "this won't be our last holiday together. I know so many families who will benefit. We need to keep fighting until Congress does something."