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UPDATE: Las Vegas DREAMer Astrid Silva talks national speech, immigration, critics

Posted at 8:22 AM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-04 03:18:48-05

An activist from Las Vegas delivered the Democrat's response to President Trump's speech this week and the response was in Spanish.

Astrid Silva is a longtime advocate for immigrants in Nevada and co-founder of Dream Big Vegas. She has been working with U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto on the issue.

She says it was an honor to be chosen by the Democrats to give the speech.

"They had a lot of options, but they chose me," she said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Las Vegas activist to address immigration, health after Trump speech

In her speech, she talked about both illegal immigration and the need for affordable health care.

Silva came to the states illegally as a child. She says as she grew up in Las Vegas, she realized being undocumented would pose challenges. She says although she's always had fear of being deported at any time, the situation has gotten more volatile under President Trump.

Silva hopes one day to become a citizen.

"Deportations are nothing new are nothing that is brand new, but the fear that we've seen in this administration was worse than we've ever seen before," she said.

Her speech drew praise from many, including Nevada representatives Dina Titus and Ruben Kihuen. But her speech also drew some hateful messages on Twitter.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter insulted Silva after the address, saying "Are all 'Dreamers' overweight? That's going to put a strain on entitlements" and "Instead of 'Dreamers,' we should call them 'Eaters.'"

Many people came to Silva's defense, including Ross J. Miller, who is a former Secretary of State for the state of Nevada.

Congresswoman Dina Titus also responded to Coulter's comments:

Silva says the comments don't bother her.  

"People like Ms. Coulter do this for a job," she says. "My job is to speak up for my community."

She says she'll continue fighting for other DREAMers despite the national climate.

"Now is not the time to stay in the shadows," she says. "Now is the time to fight our families to stay here."