State Of The Union Speech: First Lady Will Sit With Latino Supporters

Posted By Urban News Hour | February 13, 2013

As the president delivers his State of the Union speech tonight, dozens of supporters will be joining him and chief among them are the guests sitting with the First Lady, who also represent different groups from the Latino community.

The guests will accompany the First Lady in the balcony as the president delivers his State of the Union speech. They represent various groups the president will address in his speech as he outlines policy priorities. The individuals include family members of the middle class, victims of gun violence, military families and included in that list are those who champion immigration reform.

Alan Aleman, who was born in Mexico City and came to the United States when he was 11, was one of the first recipients of the president’s deferred action program in the state of Nevada. The president mentioned Aleman’s name during his speech on immigration reform in Las Vegas.

Aleman has watched the president’s State of the Union speeches since 2009 from a television screen. He said it came as a surprise when they invited him a week ago.

“I really hope that president Obama is going to push again for immigration reform because we don’t want to lose that momentum right now,” Aleman told VOXXI. “Hopefully, immigration reform is going to happen this year, so we can live without fear.”

He is seeking a degree in Biological Science from the College of Southern Nevada and is working with La Hermandad Mexicana, a non-profit that assists persons with their immigration status.

Aleman is not the only Dreamer, who will be present at the State of the Union.  Gabino Sanchez, a Dreamer from South Carolina who is fighting deportation, Julieta Garibay, a founder of United We Dream and Ambar Pinto who was also invited will be attending.

Some of the First Lady’s guests also said they were excited and thrilled. Marie Lopez Rogers was one of the first Latinas to be elected as Mayor in the city of Avondale, Arizona and is currently serving as chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments. Rogers said she is interested in understanding what the president’s priorities are and particularly in the realm of immigration versus the economy.

“I was in Washington for a meeting and got a call and I was thrilled at the opportunity,” she told VOXXI. “I think there is some things that we still have to work on that he talked about four years ago.”

Rogers was named president of the National League of Cities, an organization dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. She explained that since Arizona is key in the immigration debate, she hopes to understand how he will outline his next step.

“We waited a long time to hear about that, so I was glad to hear about the Dreamers…but that’s only one step and—there is more to do.”

The president is likely to touch on immigration reform, but the expectation is that he will not delve into details or elaborate more than what was mentioned during his speech in Las Vegas. For the most part, sources suggest he will frame the majority of his goals on jobs and the economy.

The list also includes notable individuals such as Sergeant Carlos Evans, who was injured during his fourth overseas deployment in Afghanistan. Evans, who was born in Puerto Rico, met the First Lady during his recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center. He lost both of his legs and his left hand.

“When I was injured, not only me, but my family, we were well taken care of,” he said.

In 2012, he received a custom home from Operation Coming Home and now resides in North Carolina with his wife and two young daughters. Evans is continuing to work with non-profits to help wounded veterans recuperate.

“What I would like to hear is anything that honors my fellows in arms, anything to be done to help my fellow veterans to continue living their life serving their country is fine with me.”



Please login to comment