#25: Erika Andiola & The Politics of Immigration


On a Thursday night in January 2013, federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the home of Erika Andiola in Phoenix, Arizona. Without a warrant, the agents arrested Erika’s mother and brother, put them on a bus, and began the process of deporting them back to Mexico. Hours later, in a panic, Erika posted a plea for help on YouTube.

According to Erika, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintained dossiers on her whole family, partly because they were all undocumented, and partly because Erika was a high-profile immigration activist. 

As a founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, Erika was (and remains) a very public and passionate voice supporting legislation to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to become documented. 

The good news is Erika’s mother and brother were released the day after they had been arrested. But the whole experience clearly worried Erika.   

Erika Andiola is now the Latino Outreach Strategist for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. I talked to her the other day about immigration and the Latino vote… about Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who are both Latino. We also talked about Hillary’s so-called “firewall” — the idea that people of color,  especially Latinos and African Americans, will prevent all that FeelingTheBern from spreading across key primary states.

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