JC Olivera/Getty Images for LA Times Latinos de Hoy Awards
Thatiana Diaz and Carolina Trejos
January 20, 2017 AT 05:30 PM EST

Julissa Arce, a former undocumented immigrant from Mexico and author of My (Underground) American Dream, urges Latinos—especially immigrants—to speak up under the United States’ newly appointed President Donald Trump.

“A lot of people are worried because Donald Trump was elected president. As I am. But the real work begins now,” Arce tells People en Español.

Instead of worrying, she suggested that Latinos stay informed about the new policies being implemented.

“Silence and inaction are two of the most powerful actions we can take. If we’re just sitting there idle, that’s just as bad as the people who are working against us [Latinos],” she said. “Sitting out is not really an option.”

To bring about change, Julissa continues to urge members of Congress to push for pro-immigrant policies.

Arce opted out of attending the inauguration of the country’s 45th President not to boycott but to stand by her beliefs saying, “What Donald Trump represents is not what I want to celebrate about America. I think the things that are great about America is how inclusive it is [and] how it’s a melting pot for so many different types of people and to me, he doesn’t represent that.”

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