Virginia Del. Elizabeth Guzman immigrated to the United States from Peru as a single mother, hoping to offer her daughter a better life, and today, Guzman offered the Spanish-language Democratic response to the State of the Union.
“We, the Democrats, have a vision for the future in which children and families come first,” Guzman said in the pre-recorded speech that aired Tuesday, “We need a change.”
Putting politics aside, Guzman, who will attend this evening’s State of the Union speech as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s guest, opened up by sharing her story with the American people.
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“My experience have been a testament to the incredible promise that our nation holds, one we feel proud to call home,” Guzman said, adding, “Unfortunately, the president of the United States does not share this vision for our country.”
Last November, Guzman made history, unseating an eight-term Republican incumbent to win her seat and becoming one of the first two Latinas to ever be elected to Virginia House of Delegates.
However, Guzman, 44, confessed that while she always believed in the American dream, she thought it would be obtained by her children. To her surprise and after much sacrifice, Guzman graduated from college and is now a social worker.
“Immigrant families who have given new life to the American dream through their hard work … are facing uncertainty and terror beneath Trump,” Guzman lamented, adding, “The president has the responsibility to unite us, protect us and to heal the divisions that our country faces.”
Guzman slammed Trump for replacing “equality” with “intolerance” and “mutual respect” with “racism.”
“He has demeaned communities of color – launching a mass deportation agenda, and insulting the heritage of anyone who doesn’t look like him. He has imposed a hateful, immoral ban against our Muslim brothers and sisters,” she said.
“We should not accept or normalize the insulting and atrocious way this president represents our communities,” Guzman said.
“Together we can rebuild a nation for everyone that we can be proud of,” she concluded.
Guzman was tapped to give the Spanish-language Democratic response by Pelosi, D-Calif. Her speech was original, not a Spanish translation of the official Democratic response to the president, which will be delivered by Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Pelosi celebrated selecting Guzman to give the response in a statement Tuesday.
“Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman personifies the strong, energetic leadership rising in communities across America,” Pelosi said. “We are proud to have Delegate Guzman in the chamber and to have her delivering Democrats’ Spanish-language response.”