In speech to DNC, Adriano Espaillat says he’s one of the immigrant success stories Trump fears and Clinton reveres
After clinching the Democratic line in New York’s 13th Congressional District, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat told thousands at the Democratic National Convention Monday that he was poised to make history as the first congressman who was once an undocumented immigrant, highlighting the importance of a group in the United States who are unable to participate in a presidential election where their future has proven to be a polarizing issue.
“When I take my oath of office as your new Congressman in January, I will become the first Dominican-American to ever serve in the U.S. Congress; perhaps even just as important, I will be the first member of Congress who was once undocumented as an immigrant,” Espaillat said, as cheers from the audience punctured his speech. “You take that Donald Trump.”
Even with the proper paperwork, immigrants’ contributions to the country can be overlooked, Espaillat said. He described Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as someone who fears immigrants’ success, whereas he believes Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate Tim Kaine see it as something to be supported.
“For us immigrants, our commitment to this country isn’t always valued,” Espaillat said, while surrounded by dozens from the New York delegation on stage. “With every callous on our hand, we build the bridges between our dreams and our destiny. For Donald Trump that is scary. For Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine it is inspiring.”
Espaillat last month won the Democratic Primary for the 13th Congressional District, which spans Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood and parts of the northwest Bronx. Given the districts’ heavily Democratic leaning, he is all but assured to win the general election.