Representative Mike Levin Brings UCSD DACA Student as State of the Union Guest

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Congressional representative Mike Levin (D-49) announced yesterday that he will bring UC San Diego student Lucero Sanchez as his guest to tonight’s State of the Union address.

Sanchez is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and worked as an intern on Levin’s 2018 congressional campaign. In an op-ed published by Teen Vogue, Sanchez wrote about her undocumented identity and how she was inspired to become more politically involved after her work on Levin’s campaign.

Levin, who was recently elected to the House of Representatives, represents UCSD, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, and parts of Orange County.

In a Times of San Diego article, Levin stated that Sanchez is “living proof of the enormous value that immigrants add to our country.”

The DACA program, started by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows a specific set of immigrants who came to the United States without documentation to live and work in the country. Recipients must have arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, and they must have lived in the country since June 2007.

President Trump ordered the end of the DACA program in 2017 but was blocked by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In solidarity with DACA students, the UC system sued against the president’s unlawful repeal of the program.

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history began on December 22, 2018, following President Trump’s proposed plan to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Legislators reached a budget impasse regarding funding for the wall, effectively halting government operations.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-12) delayed this year’s State of the Union address, which normally occurs in January. Pelosi blocked President Trump from delivering the speech in the House chambers, citing security concerns due to the shutdown.

The Triton reached out to Sanchez and is awaiting a response after the State of the Union address. The Undocumented Student Services Center has not responded to The Triton’s request for comment.

Tajairi Neuson is a Staff Writer for The Triton. News Editor Ella Chen contributed to the reporting of this article.