PHILADELPHIA — California Senate Pro Tempore Kevin De León is one of the first speakers at the Democratic convention's first day and one of two Latinos who has made history by leading California's legislature. He's been a champion of immigrant rights in a state that is in stark contrast in its approach to immigration compared to other conservative states, such as Texas and Alabama.
Rather than targeting immigrants for deportation, California has worked at integrating immigrants into society and the economy. The state has expanded healthcare options as well as allowed in-state tuition and the issuing of driver's licenses to immigrants regardless of legal status. Kevin de León's speaking slot is a sign of the importance of Latinos and immigration as a key issue for Hillary Clinton's administration, should she win.
"My message is all the progressive policies Democrats do across the nation, especially in a state like California," he said. "We are the 6th largest economy in the world and it's for a reason."
De León pointed to a list of policies he says makes California the sixth largest in the world, and he will take the opportunity at the convention to spread this word on progressive policies he says improve the human condition.
"Raising the minimum wage, expanding quality childcare for women, particularly single mothers, expanding college opportunities, making sure it's affordable, moving forward health care for undocumented children not only because it's the right thing to do but because it's fiscally prudent".
Raised by a single mother, de Leon says he has fought for the most vulnerable in society, particularly children and the undocumented. Unfortunately, his mother passed away, but his aunts and uncles will be excited to see how far de Leon has come. "It's really exciting," of his speech at the convention.