5 important points from the Spanish-language response to Trump's address.

In President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress, he doubled down on many of his hard-line promises on immigration.

In the hourlong address, the president discussed the creation of a southern border wall and boasted about his administration's revved-up approach to deporting undocumented immigrants. He unveiled plans for a new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office and brought with him as guests people who lost family members to violence committed by undocumented immigrants.

Though many have praised Trump's more presidential tone of voice, the policies laid out in his speech are the same ones he's touted since the start of his campaign. As Bloomberg's Joshua Green reported, a senior White House official described Trump's speech as "nationalism with an indoor voice."


Trump delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress. Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/AFP/Getty Images.

It's Trump's harsh and demonizing stance on immigration that made Astrid Silva's Spanish-language response to Trump's address — delivered on behalf of the Democratic party — so important.

Silva was brought to the United States at age 4. A beneficiary of President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age to stay as long as they meet certain criteria, Silva's own immigration status remains up in the air under Trump. She, like more than 750,000 other DACA recipients, faces an uncertain future that includes the possibility of being deported back to a country she's never known.

Silva speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

On Tuesday night, Silva pushed back on Trump's rhetoric, making the case for immigrants like herself:

1. We can't let Trump divide us with incendiary language.

"The United States is not a country guided by hatred, fear and division as [Trump] makes it look like," Silva argued in a version of her speech translated to English by the The Washington Post. "Our country is guided by respect, hard work, sacrifice, opportunities and hope. In this country, there is no place for discrimination, racial prejudice or persecution."

Silva speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Silva called Trump's speech "divisive," saying, "its goal is to cause fear and terror in communities across the country," and she argues that those goals are at odds with American values.

2. Nor should we be spending billions of dollars building walls and funding deportation forces.

"He is spending resources to transform working families into targets for deportation," said Silva. "He wants to spend thousands of millions of dollars to build an unnecessary wall. And he is seeking ways to deny entry to our Muslim brothers and sisters."

Silva introduces Obama during a November 2014 speech on immigration. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

In February, Reuters reported that Trump's border wall will cost an estimated $21.6 billion. Trump also promised to hire 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and 5,000 Border Patrol agents. The fact remains, however, that the number of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally is at a near-40-year low. Putting resources into ICE, Border Patrol, and an expensive wall seems unwarranted.

3. The answer to undocumented immigration — which is an issue that needs to be addressed — is comprehensive immigration reform, not mass deportations.

"Instead of separating families, President Trump should pass a sweeping reform that would honor this country’s tradition of welcoming immigrants," said Silva. "Instead of closing the door on Muslims and insulting countries around the world, President Trump should work with our allies to fight and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups and seek peace."

Silva speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

4. We need to take action on climate change for the sake of the world.

"We Latinos suffer from asthma more than other groups. The condition of the environment is key for our well-being. Instead of repealing the health care law, which gave health insurance to millions of Latinos, Trump and the Republicans should improve it so that the program can cover more people and be less expensive."

Obama hugs Silva after mentioning her by name in a November 2014 speech. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

Whether you're in the U.S. or anywhere else on Earth, climate change will affect us all. That's why no matter Trump's action on immigration, it's important that he does something about climate change, something he's previously called a "hoax."

5. And finally, Silva reiterated, we need to stand up for each other, even when issues don't directly affect us.

"We are living in times of uncertainty, completely outside of the ordinary, in which the administration is constantly questioning the news media and actively tries to destroy its credibility," said Silva. "We can’t allow those actions to become normal. It demands that those of us who understand the risk for women, for the LGBT community, for our environment, for the workers, immigrants, young people and refugees, work together to protect our communities from deportations, violence and discrimination."

Silva speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

It's on all of us to side with undocumented immigrants to push for a path to citizenship, to support LGBTQ rights, to combat racism, to fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, to ensure access to health care, and to protect our social safety nets. We need to show up for one another.

Immigrants make America great. Silva is living proof of that.

"We immigrants and refugees are the soul and the promise of this country and we are not alone," she said.

You can watch her response below in Spanish or read the English translation here.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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