Las Vegas woman receives national attention during presidential race


She’s a so-called dreamer, a local activist in Nevada, whose story garnered national attention in 2016. The heated presidential election was happening at the time. 

This Hispanic Heritage profile focuses on Astrid Silva from Las Vegas. She officially re-launched a non-profit of her own. In the Hispanic community, she’s known as “La Dreamer”.

During the hotly contended 2016 presidential election, the country heard Astrid Silva’s story. The Democratic National Convention became her stage.

Silva says when she was 4-years-old, she and her mother climbed into a raft and crossed the river to join her father in America. She’s been living in Nevada undocumented since 1993. Her family fled Mexico the year before.

Silva is now the leading force behind “Dream Big Nevada,”  a non-profit linking immigrant families, like her own, with resources.

Silva started Dream Big Nevada during her college days in 2011 and formally established it just last year. She’s been flooded with so many phone calls, she now has her own office space in Downtown Las Vegas.

Back in 2009, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inspired her activism. But two months later life dealt her a devastating blow.

She couldn’t attend her grandmother’s funeral in Mexico without fear of not being allowed back into the only country she knows.

Silva says she was filled with rage because it wasn’t a “papers” thing, it was a human thing, that she just wanted to be with her when she was in those final moments.

Silva has three associates and one bachelor’s degree. She is an example of the American dream. 

“I was little. I got here and studied really hard and I got where I needed to be,” she said. “My mom, you know, sewing Christmas ornaments to pay for my winter semester. It was my dad picking up extra houses to landscape so that we can pay for extra books and all the things that a student needs.”

But she says it’s all fading away with the termination of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

It’s uncertain what her future holds.

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