Good start. Be careful with punctuation of quotations (punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. So, it should look like this: “I love gelato,” Caroline Heath said. “I wish I could eat it every day.” Also, most news organizations in the U.S. use Associated Press Style, which does not use courtesy titles. So, you introduce her as Erika Andiola, not Ms. Erika Andiola. She is Andiola on all subsequent references.

Erika Andiola speaks about her undocumented life in the U.S. at St. Edward’s University

 

Moving her student audience with her personal story Erika Andiola invites students to help in her fight for protection of the undocumented community.

 

Austin- Ms. Erika Andiola (31) was hosted by the “Common Theme Program“ of St. Edward’s University in Austin date? last Thursday to speak about her life as an undocumented immigrant in the United States and her ongoing fight, along with the undocumented community, for laws legislatures that will protect young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Ok: Write short, direct sentences and try to avoid the past tense (“was hosted by” is past tense. What was the most newsy/interesting thing she said? How would you tell a friend about her talk, in one or two sentences? That’s your lede.

“I’m Erika Andiola, I’m undocumented, I’m not afraid“, punctutation goes inside the quotation marks = AP Style Ms. Andiola starts started (write news in the past tense) her speech in the gymnasium of the university which was filled with roughly 300 students and staff of St. Edward’s University. Ms. Andiola came to the United States at the age of 11 together with her mum mother, her older sister and her little brother. Leaving her home country Mexico, they family settled down in Arizona, as undocumented illegal immigrants. Andiola’s life changed again when she lost her scholarship at the Arizona State University due to new laws passed by the state of Arizona affecting illegal, undocumented immigrants.

Put quotations in their own paragraphs: “Can someone be “illegal“?“, Ms. Andiola asks,  followed by applause of her audience.

Soon Andiola met other students at her university being in the same situation and together they started a movement.

Quotation in its own paragraph: “We wanted to change the narrative about us undocumented young immigrants which was created by other people and tell the country that we are here.“, Andiola says.

They met up with other DREAMers from all around the United States and finally went to Congress to address the Senators about passing the so called “DREAM Act“.

 

The “DREAM Act“ is a proposal for a legislature that would, when passed, allow undocumented young immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the United States. The bill, first introduced to Senate in 2001, has never passed both Houses of Congress. The latest version of the “DREAM Act“ was introduced to Senate in August this year by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (Ill) and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.).

 

With the “DREAM Act“ still not passed the DREAMers accomplished another goal in 2015. President Obama signed “DACA“, an executive order designed to protected young undocumented  immigrants from deportation. Ms. Andiola is one of approximately 800.000 DREAMers protected by “DACA“, which also gave her the opportunity to find a job with a Congress woman of Arizona. “I just wanted a normal life.“, Ms. Andiola says.

 

Succeeding in one fight Ms. Andiola’s life came again apart when ICE, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, came to the families house in Arizona to arrest and deport Ms. Andiola’s mum who wasn’t protected by the DACA program. Ms. Andiola called everyone she knew for help this night and finally made a YouTube video telling the world what had happened to her mum. The video received thousands of views the first night she had uploaded it. And she finally got a call: Your mum is not going to be deported. “That was the moment I realized, that I actually have the power to change things.“, Ms. Andiola says.

 

A student from the audience asked Ms. Andiola if there was anything she would liked to have known before she came to the United States. “I had to learn that life is not a straight line, I wasn’t prepared for this.“, Ms. Andiola says with laughter.

 

Being aware of what she could accomplish Ms. Andiola co-founded the Dream Action Coalition, an interest group that collaborates with immigrants addressing legislatures to establish and change policies affecting immigrants. She also worked for the United We Dream Network, the largest organization of young immigrants in the United States that seeks to give young immigrants a voice and to make people aware of the problems affecting them. In lasts years presidential election Ms. Andiola worked for the Bernie Sanders campaign as the press secretary for Latino Outreach. “I want to make others uncomfortable with the truth I’m believing in. Fact is that my life is at stake and the life of my family could change drasticly if I don’t continue the work that I’ve been doing“, Ms. Andiola describes her motivation.

 

Being arrested three times for her protest Ms. Andiola’s fight for the rights of undocumented immigrants doesn’t come without a risk. “I wouldn’t say that  I’m afraid at this point. The undocumented community is afraid of the police, we are afraid of coming out of the shadows, but the way we can show that we aren’t longer afraid is doing these kind of things like getting arrested and showing that we are willing to risk something.“

 

Ms. Andiola’s speech was part of the Common Theme the Department of University Studies of St. Edward’s University agrees on every year to confront students with complex social issues like the one of immigration, this year’s common theme. Students are required to attend special classes, go to speeches like the one of Ms. Andiola and all incoming students are required to read a book that features stories about immigrant families in the United States. “The more people understand why other people migrate, the better the debate about migration will be.“, says Ms. Alexandra Barron, who is the director of the Freshman Studies Program at St. Edward’s University and responsible for the selection of the common book for the incoming students.

“I was impressed by Ms. Andiola’s poise. It’s not easy to talk about this topic especially when you have family members who are undocumented. I was also impressed about the opportunities she has found since working for the congress Woman and a national organization.“, says Ms. Mity Myhr who teaches and St. Edward’s University and attended the event together with her students. “She made a real effort to connect with the experiences of our students no matter who they are, undocumented or not.“, Ms. Myhr further continued. You only need to attribution once.

DACA was recently stopped by President Trump. Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants would loose their protection status if Congress doesn’t agree on passing the „Dream Act“ till March. “Stay with us to pass the „DREAM Act“, call your Senator and asked them about it!“, Ms. Andiola called out to her audience on Thursday, rewarded with standing ovations.