Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has hired a self-declared “undocumented” immigrant to serve as his 2020 presidential campaign’s deputy press secretary.
Belén Sisa, who previously worked on the Latino outreach side of Sanders’s 2016 campaign, announced her addition to the Vermont senator’s 2020 team in a Facebook post Wednesday.
“This is really emotional for me. I can’t 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,” she wrote.
“I can’t 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 added in her announcement, which is dated Tuesday.
According to the Arizona-based activist, Sisa’s parents brought her illegally to the U.S. from Argentina at six years old and as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Her legal protection from deportation will expire next year.
The hiring was first reported by the Washington Examiner.
In 2017, Sisa garnered national headlines when a photo of her filing taxes in an attempt to shift stereotypes of illegal aliens went viral on social media. “She’s so brave,” said her mother Isabel O’Neal, according to Fox News. “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.”
Earlier February, Sanders launched a second run for the White House, pledging to run a campaign focused on “transforming” the U.S. and “creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”