At only 6 years old, Sophie Cruz was the youngest person to give a speech at the Women's March on Washington. Sophie took the stage with her mother, father and younger sister, and by the time she was done speaking, the crowd—estimated in the hundreds of thousands—didn’t know what hit them.
Sophie didn’t appear to be armed, but she was. She was armed with love and she SLAYED.
The short speech that she delivered in English and Spanish brought many to tears.
This isn’t the first time that Sophie has made grown people—myself included—ugly cry for her cause. In September 2015, when she was only 5, Sophie made national headlines when she managed to give a handwritten note to the pope advocating on behalf of her undocumented parents and all immigrants.
Sophie became an activist when she found out that even though she is an American citizen, she could be separated from her parents who were born in Mexico's western state of Oaxaca because they came to the United States as undocumented immigrants.
How inspiring is it that instead of cowering in fear and hiding in the shadows, this child has so much faith in the collective humanity of this country and its government that she chooses to share her situation publicly to inspire changes in immigration policy?
And don’t dismiss her efficacy as an advocate for immigrants because of her age. The pope isn’t the only important person that she’s made an impression on. Former President Obama invited her to the White House in 2016, and this brave child went even though her parents couldn’t accompany her because of their undocumented status.
“Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed,” Sophie said during her speech at the Women’s March. “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love."
As a mom, I have to say it: This child is EVERYTHING. She is a national treasure. She is the future. She is bilingual. She is eloquent. She is hope. She is reason. She is justice. She is love. She, like so many of the children in this country, deserves better than to live in fear.
Grab a tissue, press play and absorb Sophie’s message. Then when you’re done, ask yourself if we really want to throw someone like Sophie away. Do we really want to toss her hard-working parents out, which would mean that we lose Sophie too?
Sophie is a product of this country. She is already doing great things and will no doubt continue to do great things—but she won’t do them here if we don’t find a way to help her parents stay. Can we recognize the contributions that immigrants like Sophie’s parents have made through their toil and honor their labor with compassion?
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.