Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks Immigration at San Francisco State Graduation

Kate Larsen Image
ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks Immigration at San Francisco State Graduation
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came home to the Bay Area to give San Francisco State's Commencement address.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Tuesday, 8,700 undergrad and graduate students filed into Oracle Park Tuesday, for San Francisco State's 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

"I'm just really thankful that's all," said Kellim Lopez through tears.

Lopez was born and raised in San Francisco and is the first in her family to graduate from college.

"I just want to let my parents know, that I know they came here without papers and we made it."

San Francisco State's largest-ever graduating class is a diverse group of students from all over the world, which was reflected in speeches that highlighted the importance of immigration.

"I had the opportunity to work alongside immigrant women like myself in research projects," said Student Speaker, Maria Jose Lozano

Sanabria, who immigrated to the US from Columbia when she was 14.

"Like many immigrants, I have learned most about the love for my country here. That is to say, by being away from it. SF State has provided me with a safe pedagogical space that has allowed me to better understand the political, social and economic dynamics of my home country," said Sanabria.

Home in San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the commencement address. She spoke about the newly elected diversity in Congress.

"House Democrats are more than 60-percent women, people of color and LGBTQ community members," proudly exclaimed Pelosi.

Speaker Pelosi also talked about passing comprehensive immigration reform and protecting Dreamers. And, she quoted a president you might not suspect.

"President Reagan went on to say 'If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost."

With fresh diplomas and endless opportunities ahead, Pelosi's words were just what many grads were hoping to hear.

"We love Nancy Pelosi," exclaimed new graduate, Ron Mandania. "To have her as an SF State commencement speaker, it's just super honorable to be a part of this community."

"It's so inspiring to see a woman role model up there," said graduate Kate Hatch, who added, "It really inspires me to keep moving forward."