Sophie Cruz speaks onstage at the Women’s March on Washington

Sophie Cruz is one of the youngest activists in the world. Her parents are undocumented migrants from Mexico, living in the USA, and at the age of five Sophie decided to do something about that. After travelling to meet the Pope with her family, she broke through security measures to hand him a letter; her letter detailed how worried she was about her parents being deported and she begged the Pope for help. It is hard to believe her moving words come from someone so young, but they speak with the clear-sightedness of youth: “Don’t forget about us the children, or about those who suffer because they’re not with their parents because of war, because of violence, because of hunger.” Sophie made an impression and the next day the Pope brought this issue up with Congress, trying to encourage more openness for immigrants and refugees.

The next year, Sophie was invited to speak at the Washington Women’s March. Aged six, she bravely spoke in front of tens of thousands of people. She began this important moment by saying: “We are here together, making a chain of love to protect our families. Let us fight with love, faith, and courage so that our families will not be destroyed.” Again it is hard to believe these words came from a six year old, and even more incredibly her speech was in both English and Spanish. Sophie has not stopped campaigning; she has visited the White House, sat in Supreme Court hearings, campaigned for people to vote, and often done so without her parents. 

This incredible young child has inspired people around the world. Sophie has continued to educate others about immigration, showing how she, as an American citizen, may be separated from her parents if a path to citizenship is not established by Congress. But more than that, Sophie has become a symbol for hope.  Says Paola Mendoza: “At the age of six, Sophie Cruz is our nation’s conscience. She is our movement’s inspiration. She is one of our leaders. She is why we fight.”

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