PHOENIX - A local immigrant activist was honored at the U2 Joshua Tree concert in Phoenix on Tuesday during the band's performance of their hit song "Ultraviolet" as they paid tribute to inspirational women from around the world.
Reyna Montoya is the founder of Aliento (a community-based organization) and has been fighting for undocumented youth since 2010. A DREAMer, DACA recipient and undocumented immigrant, she says she chose to come out of the shadows to stand up for all those who are just like her.
Tuesday night at the show, she was one of three Arizona women featured during the band's performance. The other two were former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Montoya says she was at home in bed when she began receiving text and Facebook messages that she had just been featured in the show.
She says it was an unbelievable surprise and had no words for the honor.
She says this honor is more about her community — not her. She hopes people will realize undocumented youth are their friends, neighbors, children their kids go to school with and even their co-workers. She hopes to continue her work and inspire others.
According to Montoya, the band had asked for nominations for who should be included in their program. Montoya says a woman reached out to her asking if she could nominate her for the honor, but that was months ago, and she never heard back.
Montoya says this comes at a critical time for undocumented youth as they face an uphill battle in Washington for some kind of DREAM Act legislation.
President Donald Trump recently ended the Obama-era program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and gave Congress a 6-month deadline to find a permanent solution.