6-year-old with undocumented parents could get debate question

6-year-old with undocumented parents could get debate question
© screenshot

"If you deport my parents, what happens to me?" 

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That’s the question 6-year-old Sophie Cruz wants to ask the presidential nominees at Sunday night’s town hall debate. 

Cruz's question about immigration is getting attention on social media as part of an effort to put the question to Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE and Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE.

"If you deport my parents, what happens to me? I am 6 years old and an American citizen. I have a 3 year old sister who is also an American. My heart is very sad, because I’m scared that ICE is going to deport my undocumented mommy and daddy,” reads the text of Cruz’s question as posted on the Open Debate Coalition website. 

Celebrities such as hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons have tweeted in support of Cruz, as have many immigration activists.

 

Cruz's question is one of more than 11,000 posted on presidentialopenquestions.com, a site created by a bipartisan group dedicated to bringing political debates "fully into the Internet age."

The site says ABC and CNN moderators have agreed to consider the top 30 questions, which users can vote on, for inclusion in presidential debates. 

Cruz's question had about 11,700 votes on Thursday evening, while the top question on the site had just shy of 42,800. That question — "Would you support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales?" — comes from Richard M. from California.

Immigration was not directly discussed in the first presidential debate of 2016 last week, although it has been a central issue of this campaign.

Trump has vowed to repeal President Obama's executive actions on immigration, including Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). DAPA was launched by Obama in November 2014 in an attempt to protect the parents of underage U.S. citizens from deportation.

DAPA is currently suspended, after a 4-4 Supreme Court stalemate reverted the case to a lower court in Texas that filed an injunction against the action's constitutionality.

Clinton's immigration proposals include expansion of DAPA and its sister program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), 4.1 million U.S. citizen children lived in the country without their deported parents between 2009 and 2013. The MPI claims children whose parents have been deported are negatively impacted in their personal and socio-economic development.

The social media campaign to include Cruz's question in presidential debates is not the California child’s first time in the immigration advocacy spotlight.

In September of last year, the Los Angeles native caught Pope Francis's attention during his Washington, D.C., visit. Cruz's father held her up as the papal motorcade rolled by the White House Ellipse, and Francis ordered his driver to stop.

Cruz was allowed by security to approach the Pope, handing him a letter that said in Spanish, “My friends and I love each other no matter our skin color.”

Cruz then visited the White House as Obama's guest for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, but her parents were not able to attend because they are undocumented.