The 'dreamer' who will choose the next Democratic presidential candidate
Elizabeth 'Ellie' Perez is the first DACA beneficiary dreamer to be elected superdelegate to the Democratic National Committee.
While looking on the World Wide Web for reading and writing topics, I came across a particular story that presents the political potential of all Americans unknown in their government under the pretext that they were not born on this land.
Elizabeth "Ellie" Perez is 26 years old, came at age 4 from Veracruz, Mexico. She is one of almost 800,000 "dreamers" at risk of deportation since the repeal of the DACA program put them in limbo.
Mexican by birth, American in heart, Perez lives the bitter irony of identifying with a country whose state has been unable to welcome her as another citizen.
This undocumented Arizonian holds a major in Social Justice Studies at Arizona State University and, since last October 21, is the first 'dreamer' member and superdelegate of the National Democratic Committee, in charge of, among other things, choosing the candidate or presidential candidate of that community in 2020.
Perez's election as one of the 75 blue party superdelegates means she becomes the first undocumented person with voting power within a political organization to elect its presidential candidate.
But it also implies the sad irony of not being able to vote for that candidate who she will help to choose.
Yes, her choice is undoubtedly a celebration for her, her family and the group of American dreamers. But it is a glass half empty celebration after all, because that right that she earned is constrained from the beginning: it’s a severed, castrated power; a citizens' exercise limited by the stupid technicality of a notary - the government -who doesn’t want to certify with its signature what history legitimates: that one is not from where they're born but from where they're raised.
And there is no paper or authority capable of certifying a feeling. That is precisely what the 800,000 beneficiaries of DACA have and also the almost two million dreamers in the country: an American national identity that no one can take away.
A feeling; a sense of belonging; a way of seeing and acting that is subject to memory and language.
Perez knows this and that's why she fights. Speaking to reporters, she said that, "I had no control coming here. When I realized that I was undocumented I chose to stay, so I learned here the American values; I learned that if you fight hard you will get ahead. That's not going to change; our party has a lot to do to be more prepared."
The young activist began her involvement in politics during protests against Arizona's controversial state law SB1070 in 2010, which gave the green light to a hunt for immigrants at the hands of the state's law enforcement authorities.
Now that she is in legal limbo, she only plans to use her position to continue promoting the agenda by creating a "cleaner law for dreamers”.
It was precisely thanks to DACA that she was able to work as an adviser to Kate Gallego, a counselor, and candidate for mayor of Phoenix.
Perez also worked on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and participated in the National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.