Senator Bernie Sanders’ new press secretary will be unable to cast a vote for the open socialist in 2020 due to her immigration status.
Far-left activist and illegal immigrant Belen Sisa announced her new position with the Sanders campaign on Wednesday in a social media post condemning the “hateful and bigoted” Trump administration.
According to The Washington Examiner, Sisa was brought into the United States illegally from Argentina by her parents when she was six years old. Currently, Sisa is shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented by former President Barack Obama.
“My life recently has taken some crazy unexpected twists and turns. From thinking I was going to be moving to San Francisco, to now moving to Washington, DC. I know many of you are wondering what exactly I’ll be doing in DC, well… I am incredibly excited and honored to announce that I will be joining the Bernie 2020 campaign as National Deputy Press Secretary! I’m ready to continue our fight, finish what we started, and take down the hateful and bigoted administration of Trump. Are you with me?!” wrote the activist in a social media post on Wednesday.
“This is really emotional for me,” she continued. “I cant help but think of 18 year old Belén, who felt hopeless and powerless to the anti immigrant attacks and policies that were holding her back from her dreams. I cant help but think of the generations of sacrifice my family has had to do for me to get here. Never in our wildest dreams did we think I’d be making moves like these.”
Sisa has been active in left-wing politics, working Latino outreach for Sanders’ failed 2016 presidential run and for the Arizona delegation at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the same year.
She’s been an active protester, too, and has been arrested for such activity on at least two occasions. The Washington Examiner reports:
[Sisa] has been arrested at least twice for protests throughout her activist career. As a college senior in 2017, she was jailed for her role in a sit-in outside of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., office. While in jail, Sisa told reporters that she organized a “prison strike.”
Just weeks before that, she was arrested for a protest outside the Senate Hart Office Building. Both protests were over immigration reform and a demand that Congress pass the DREAM Act — a bill that would permanently legalize children who were brought into the country illegally — “cleanly,” without extraneous provisions.
Sisa’s mother called her daughter “brave” for her actions. “DACA is expiring every day. Hers is going to expire in one year and what are we going to do with all of these youth? Congress has to pass the DREAM Act,” she said.
According to Fox News, Sisa told the Arizona Republic in 2016 that “while she initially supported Sanders’ campaign that year, she urged her family members, who have a right to vote, to back Hillary Clinton.”
“Even though I can’t vote, I can get 200 people to vote, and that matters,” said the activist. “Everything can change depending on who becomes the next president. Our voice is starting to matter, and we can have an impact even though we can’t cast a ballot ourselves.”
In the past, Sanders’ immigration stance hedged what seems to be the Democrats’ new mainstream position on immigration. In 2015, Sanders took heat for dismissing the idea of totally open borders because it will “substantially lower wages in this country.”
“What they are talking about is completely opening up the border,” said Sanders, according to Real Clear Politics. “That was the question. Should we have a completely open border so that anyone can come in the United States of America? If that were to happen, which I strongly disagree with, there is no question in my mind that that would substantially lower wages in this country.”