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Virginia ‘Dreamer’ Nicolle Uria to attend Trump’s State of the Union address

Faiz Siddiqui

A Virginia high school student will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday as the guest of Rep. Gerald E. Connolly.

Nicolle Uria, a senior at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, is a volleyball player, aspiring media mogul — and one of the estimated 690,000 immigrants whose future has been uncertain since Sept. 5, when Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The program was created in 2012 for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

“Nicolle is a bright, talented student who until last September lived the American Dream,” Connolly said in a statement. “She was looking forward to going to college and to run her own media company one day, until President Trump put that future in jeopardy with his callous decision to end DACA.”

Uria’s parents migrated from Bolivia to the United States on work visas 16 years ago, when she was a year old, and remained in the country when their visas expired. Her parents and older sisters later obtained temporary green cards, opening up path to permanent residence, but Trump’s decision to rescind DACA put Uria’s status in jeopardy.

“It’s like you’re sailing in a beautiful ocean and then you crash and it’s raining a lot,” Uria said in a Washington Post profile in October. “And you’re stuck and you don’t know where to go, which way to swim, it’s dark and you can’t see. That’s how I feel right now with DACA maybe ending.”

Unless Congress can reach a solution, Uria’s DACA status will expire in September. White House officials have offered a path to citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for $25 billion in funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and tightened immigration restrictions.

Connolly’s decision to bring Uria to the address was a rebuke of Trump’s decision to end DACA.

“She and so many other Dreamers are exactly the young people we don’t want to turn away from our country,” Connolly said. “They are what makes America such a great nation.”
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