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Bernie Sanders' new press secretary is an illegal immigrant protected by DACA


She's been very active politically in recent years

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders has made some progress toward his goal of making his 2020 staff less white and less male than his 2016 staff, hiring Belen Sisa, an undocumented immigrant from Argentina, as his deputy national press secretary, according to the Washington Examiner.

Sisa was brought to the U.S. illegally when she was 6, and she is able to remain due to the protections provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

She was very active during the 2016 election, doing Latino outreach for Sanders' campaign and working as a page to the Arizona delegation at the Democratic National Convention.

She's not able to vote, but she will play an even larger role in presidential politics leading up to the 2020 election, something she told AZ Central in 2016 that she was scared to do.

"For someone who was so scared of participating in anything, and coming out and doing this, it's pretty hard to believe I'm standing in the middle of this," Sisa said during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Sisa also made headlines in 2017 when a social media post about her paying taxes despite being an illegal immigrant went viral, partially for the backlash against her.

She has been arrested at least twice for incidents involving protests in Washington, D.C., advocating for a clean Dream Act to permanently protect illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Early in his presidency, President Donald Trump attempted to end DACA and placed responsibility on Congress to pass legislation protecting this group of hundreds of thousands of immigrants. However, numerous court battles and decisions have kept the program in place.

The DACA protections remain active as the courts continue to consider the legality of the Trump administrations reasons for wanting to end the program.

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