Boyle Heights Activist Whose Mother Brought Her to U.S. Illegally Launches Congressional Campaign

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A civic and labor activist and journalist who had been in the country illegally is joining the race for the 34th Congressional District.

Wendy Carrillo, 36, a Democrat from Boyle Heights, announced her plans to run in a post on Medium Monday.

Carrillo said in the post her parents brought her to the United States from El Salvador as a child. After learning she was not legally in the United States at age 13, Carrillo became a U.S. citizen before her 21st birthday. (Article 1 of the Constitution requires a person be a U.S. citizen for seven years to run for Congress.)

“I was fortunate while so many others haven’t been. I take that blessing very seriously,” she wrote. “Before my 21st birthday, I became a citizen and for a few years I was the only voting member in a family of seven.”

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