By Emanuela P. Leaf
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has named prominent DREAMer and immigration activist Lorella Praeli as Latino Outreach Director, a Clinton campaign official told NBC News.
Lorella Praeli is the Advocacy and Policy Director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant-youth led network dedicated to advancing the rights of non-citizens in the United States. Praeli is responsible for developing the organization’s political strategy and her advocacy focuses on passage of the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform and implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
In 2012, her advocacy and leadership with United We Dream played a key role in persuading the Obama administration to deliver reprieve from deportation and work permits to 1.4 million Dreamers through DACA.
Before joining UWD, Praeli co-founded and directed CT Students for a DREAM and led the public advocacy campaign for the successful passage of Connecticut’s in-state tuition bill. In Connecticut, she also worked as state organizer for United Action of Connecticut, where she built an intergenerational network of undocumented parents and youth.
Born in Inca, Peru, Praeli lost a leg in an accident when she was two. At the age of 10, the family moved to New Milford, Connecticut and her mother, who was a psychiatrist in Peru, worked as a housekeeper. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in political science and sociology from Quinnipiac University.
Praeli will be the Clinton campaign’s main point person with Latino communities around the country. She will also be one of the campaign’s surrogates with the press on Latino issues, including immigration.
Praeli’s appointment makes a clear demonstration of Clinton campaign’s positon on immigration reform, but some immigration advocates remain cautious.
In a statement to the press, the Dream Action Coalition, a lobbying arm of the DREAMer movement congratulated Praeli on her new position, praising her ability to get the job done and commitment to the DREAMer and immigrant community.
“Nevertheless, we urge the Hilary campaign to allow her to continue the fight for our community she will be representing and not just be a spokesperson for campaign rhetoric.”