Lorella Praeli is a Peruvian immigrant who was in the U.S. illegally until obtaining a green card through marriage three years ago. She is now the Latino outreach director for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Though Praeli has never been eligible to vote, her job is to “win over Latinos for Clinton in key states such as Florida, Colorado and Nevada.”
Praeli’s Twitter timeline seems to indicate that she only acquired legal residency in June of this year.
— Lorella Praeli (@lorellapraeli) June 1, 2015
According to the Los Angeles Times, the job is not easy because even though there are more Latinos now than ever before–“Twice as many Latinos will be eligible to vote” in 2016 versus 2000–and the younger Latino generations do not tend to be involved in politics.
But Praeli is committed to convincing them to vote because she is convinced the Democrats’ approach to illegal immigration is better than the Republicans’ policy. She sees the Democrats trying to find ways to allow illegals to remain in the country–and that’s important to her, because her mother is currently in the U.S. illegally.
In fact, Praeli’s entire family moved to the U.S. illegally and put down roots in Connecticut when she was just 10 years old.
Her involvement in politics was secured via a 2010 rally for illegal immigrants in Kentucky. Praeli agreed to take part in the rally as a way to help the “Dreamer movement,” and never looked back.
She said the rally was intentionally modeled on the gay rights push. Praeli points out that gays campaigned for equal rights just as black citizens had done previously, and she told the illegals gathered for the rally that it was their turn. She urged them not to hide in the shadows, but to come out and openly discuss being in the country illegally.
Praeli said, “We wanted to create a moral dilemma in the country so when people say ‘undocumented,’ they know who they’re talking about.”
After the Kentucky rally Praeli founded Connecticut Students for a Dream, then married Tim Eakins in 2012 and delved into immigration politics full time. She wants to see Clinton elected because she fears a Trump presidency would be difficult for people who have entered the country illegally.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.