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Dan Moffett

Undocumented Benita Veliz Made History at Democrats' Convention

By September 17, 2012

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When a Texas police officer arrested her for rolling through a stop sign three years ago, Benita Veliz began an improbable journey that would take her to the podium at the Democratic convention and national prominence as an advocate for DREAM Act legislation.

The 26-year-old undocumented immigrant from San Antonio was the valedictorian of her high school class who graduated from college with a double major. Yet, Veliz faced deportation proceedings because of her childhood arrival into the United States in 1994 -- until the government finally relented last year.

This month she made history when she gave a prime time speech to the Democrats in Charlotte, N.C., and a national TV audience. The Tea Party was horrified but Hispanics and immigrant activists continue to celebrate her meteoric rise.

Read what she told the nation about the 1.7 million young undocumented immigrants who would benefit from the DREAM Act.


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