I want to take a moment to introduce Nicolle Uria, my guest to tonight's State of the Union address. A Dreamer from right here in North Virginia, she currently has DACA, but was not eligible to reapply following the President’s announcement to end the program in September. Her DACA will expire in September 2018.
Nicolle is a bright, talented student who until last September lived the American dream. Currently a senior at Annandale High School, she was looking forward to going to college and one day running her own media company, until President Trump put that future in jeopardy with his callous decision to end DACA. She came here when she was just one year old. This country is all she has ever known and, through her volunteer work, she has made our community better.
Nicolle and so many other Dreamers are exactly the young people we don’t want to turn away from our country. They are what makes America such a great nation. I am proud to have Nicolle by my side tonight.
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress
WTOP covered Nicolle's compelling story. Read it here and below:
By Dick Uliano
When President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night, a Northern Virginia teenager will be in the House chamber watching.
Nicolle Uria, 17, a senior at Annandale High School, is among the nation’s immigrant children hoping for protection since the president ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She’ll be a guest of Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat representing Virginia’s 11th District.
“Never would I have imagined myself, two years ago, in this position since I had found out that I was undocumented,” Uria said.
At the age of 15, Nicolle learned from her parents that her family had overstayed their work visas from Bolivia to reside in the United States.
“I pretty much led a normal life. I was never very worried until now,” Uria said.
The teenager — who works on the school newspaper, plays volleyball and tutors elementary school students — acknowledges she’s been thrust into the political spotlight.
“I will be representing 800,000 Dreamers across this nation, and I’m very excited to do that and also to be a voice,” Uria said.
Her dreams are to go to college, study communications and become a journalist. Her fear is being sent back to the South American nation that she left at the age of 1.
“I am very afraid to go back to Bolivia mostly because America is my home,” she said. “This is the only place I can identify with.”
Uria hopes her visit to the Capitol calls attention to the plight she shares with other young immigrants.
“We want to study,” she said. “We want to expand our knowledge, give back to the community.”
Others in Uria’s situation will be among the visitors in the House gallery Tuesday night. They include Gabriela Hernandez, a student at Prince George’s Community College. She’ll be a guest of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Democrat representing Maryland’s 5th District. At the age of 4, Hernandez came to the U.S. from El Salvador with her mother.