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.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Number 10 / Flickr

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a measure last month that could pave the way for the Catholic Church to deny President Joe Biden communion. The conservative bishops hope to prevent Biden from participating in the sacred ritual because of his support for abortion rights.

Biden is a devout Catholic who considered becoming a priest in his youth. He rarely misses mass, holds a rosary while making critical decisions, and often quotes scriptures. When asked about the bishops' decision Biden said it is "a private matter and I don't think that's going to happen."

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