Presidential Campaign

FULL SPEECH: Congressman Xavier Becerra addresses convention

Good evening! Buenas noches! Thank you! And how about we thank all the volunteers, the police officers, and security; the workers who set up, cleaned up, and fed us – who’ve made this convention a success.

Anyone here an immigrant or the child or grandchild of immigrants? Anyone the first in your family to go to college? 

Who here makes a living working with your hands, making this country better? This is what a GREAT America looks like. So when I hear someone say, “America isn’t great,” it hits me, like when someone says, “your father was just a ditch digger; your mother wasn’t even born here.”

This election is about us. It’s personal. It’s about telling every little boy and every little girl: You can grow up to be the President of the United States. When she was 18, my mom came from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She was the boss. She juggled her jobs at home and as a clerical worker. 

My father, he had to leave school by the sixth grade to help support the family. I remember: He would leave for work long before my three sisters and I would get up for school. When you work in the fields, and in construction, you rise with the sun. In winter, when Sacramento turned cold and rainy, and the construction jobs disappeared, my dad would somehow find other work – laying a tile floor, canning tomatoes, or hauling someone’s trash. 

My parents didn’t go to college, but they encouraged us – and like so many of you, I became the first in my family to graduate with a four-year degree. I know that education opens doors. 

Hillary Clinton gets that. She understands that every child deserves a great education, no matter their zip code. As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary had what she called the Chelsea test. If a school wasn’t good enough for her daughter, it wasn’t good enough for anyone’s child. That’s why as President, she’ll bring preschool to every four-year-old in America. She’ll rebuild our crumbling schools. She’ll give our teachers the support and tools they need, and the pay they deserve.

How many of you have student debt? Hillary will fight for debt-free college tuition, because nobody should be priced out of college. And she’ll ensure folks can refinance their student loans, because nobody should be held down by the crush of student debt.

I recently went with Carolina my wife to witness our youngest daughter Natalia graduate from high school. Natalia knows the sky’s the limit. Hillary wants for all children what we give to our children. Hillary wants to build schools – Donald Trump wants to build walls. His idea of an education plan – Trump University.

He once demanded that President Obama release his college transcripts because it would be, “very revealing.”

I think it would be “very revealing” for Donald Trump to release his college transcript. Who here thinks he did as well as he says he did?

At every stage in his life, Donald Trump has exploited America’s laws to put himself first. He uses lawsuits the way my mom uses coupons to drive down prices. He uses bankruptcies – six of them – like a wealthy man’s get-out-jail-free card. I can’t tell you if this man has ever had a callous on his hands. Does he know the price of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread? And why won’t he release his tax returns? What is he hiding? Why won’t he show the American people who he is?

Let me tell you who Hillary Clinton is. A few months ago, Hillary came to my city of Los Angeles and sat down with people like my parents: grandmothers, DREAMers, and men who work all day in the sun, yet remain in the shadows. As the meeting ended, the crowd swelled around her.

She took every photo requested with families who had never been anywhere close to a future President. People who couldn’t even vote. She embraced them and consoled them – and she listened to them. It’s those moments that make this election personal, that define a President.

The Hillary I’ve known for 24 years is someone who has always listened to those who have been silenced. Our next Vice-President Tim Kaine nos escucha también – “he listens to us too.”

We’ve come a long way from the days when my dad couldn’t walk into a restaurant because of signs that read, “No dogs or Mexicans allowed.” Now is not the time to turn back. There’s a saying in Spanish – Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres – “Tell me with whom you walk and I’ll tell you who you are.” Hillary Clinton has walked with us all her life.

No matter who we are, or where we come from, or what we look like, or how much money we have, or who we love, Hillary Clinton walks with us. So, now, the question is: Are we going to walk with her? Are we going to fight for a nation where love trumps hate? Are we going to build an America that’s Stronger Together? 

Then, together, let’s elect the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton!

Tags 2016 Democratic convention California DREAM Act Democratic Party DNC Donald Trump Hillary Clinton I'm With Her Immigration Philadelphia Tim Kaine United States

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