Undocumented in Arizona: Immigrant Leaders Share their Stories

Undocumented in Arizona: Immigrant Leaders Share their Stories

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 17 4:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 17 6:00 PM (Eastern)

Arizona is ground zero for many anti-immigrant laws and for harsh treatment of immigrants. What is daily life like under these conditions? What is the impact of the deportation system on Arizona families? How are local leaders organizing in response? This panel of undocumented leaders will speak from their personal experience of being undocumented in Arizona and will provide context of the immigrant rights movement and the bold and courageous immigrant organizing in the state. Participants will have a chance to dialogue with these movement leaders, to truly understand the social and political forces at play in Arizona and to get direction for how to be in solidarity with this local immigrant community.


Luis Avila


A longtime community organizer, Luis has held positions as National Program Director for Stand for Children, Field Organizer in New Mexico for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and Field Director at Arizona State University’s ADA Parent Education Program – where he oversaw a program that united parents and teachers to transform the educational experiences of children both at home and at school. Born in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico, Luis founded a youth publication in Queretaro at the age of 16 to give students a chance to voice their opinions on social and political issues. His passion for giving others a voice eventually brought him to the United States, where he has spent the better part of his career working to improve the quality of life for people in his community by expanding access to quality education.

Other sessions: ¡Se habla Español! Creating a Successful Bilingual Campaign

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Erika Andiola


Erika Andiola is a former Congressional Staffer for Arizona Congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema and co-founder of the DRM Action Coalition. Erika started her community organizing experience when she co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. She then served in the National Coordinating Committee and the Board of Directors for the United We Dream Network. Her personal struggle as an undocumented woman herself, with an undocumented family, has given her the drive and the passion to keep fighting for immigrant rights.

Other sessions: Turning Young Activism into Policy, The Evolution of Immigrant Rights: From Political Empowerment to Progressive Change

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Reyna Montoya


Reyna teaches high school Spanish, English, Philosophy and Dance in South Phoenix. She’s an ASU graduate with two BA degrees in Political Science and Transborder Studies & a Dance minor. In 2012, Reyna was name the Activist of the Year. She has engaged in local, statewide & national platforms to advance justice for undocumented immigrant communities. In 2013 with the help of the community Reyna stopped her dad’s deportation & was the lead organizer to stop an immigration bus that prevented undocumented immigrants to get deported in Phoenix. She helped organize & train 500 immigrant families in the AZ2DC & US2DC trip to meet with congressmen/women to fight for immigration reform. Reyna was one of the leads of the Hunger Strike in 2014 to fight for DAPA. She is currently studying her Master’s Degree in Sec. Education & hopes to go to Law School to STOP DEPORTATIONS of immigrants.

Jose Patino


Born in Mexico raised in the Valley of the sun Phoenix, AZ. I am part of the 1% undocumented / DACAmented people in the U.S. Currently teaching high mathematics pursuing my Masters in Education. I fight for human rights because it’s the right thing to do.