Undocumented ASU Graduate Erika Andiola Receives Freedom From Fear Award for Confronting Russell Peace, Organizing for DREAM Act

PNT_JamiePeachey_Erika.jpg
Jamie Peachey
Erika Andiola can show you papers -- a national award, her diploma, and more.

Undocumented Arizona State University graduate Erika Andiola won the Freedom from Fear Award this morning, a national prize given to immigration activists by Public Interest Projects.

Andiola won for advocacy on behalf of the DREAM Act, as well as for her confrontations with legislators such as Senate President Russell Pearce and U.S. Senator John McCain.

Her scholarship to ASU was taken from her when the Pearce-sponsored Proposition 300 went into effect in 2006, making it illegal to give public scholarships to undocumented students and charging them out-of-state tuition. But she was able to graduate with the help of private scholarships.

See video of Andiola challenging Pearce on immigration law and the award's citation after the jump.

The organization's citation for her award -- $5000 in prize money -- reads as follows:

She got involved with Promise Arizona, a grassroots civic engagement organization with a mission to recruit, train and support a new generation of leaders from across the state and register Latinos to vote. She also dedicated herself to championing the DREAM Act . She spent countless hours camped in front of Senator John McCain's Phoenix office in the summer heat with the "DREAM Army," supporters who worked tirelessly to educate elected officials on the Act. She knew she might be arrested, and eventually she was.

On video, Andiola also confronted Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, a national figure behind anti-immigration legislation. Russell was clearly not happy about being surprised. He could have called security and demanded an arrest on the spot. Arrest is frightening for anyone, but as Andiola knows personally, arrest with the possibility of deportation is life-altering, especially for someone so young. Andiola's single-minded dedication to social justice comes before her personal gain.

Andiola is fearless and articulate on camera, especially when she was interviewed by ABC's Diane Sawyer and appeared in several You Tube videos. Seen on television in front of McCain's office, Andiola is visibly exhausted. She had been driving hard for months, flying to DC, working for Promise Arizona, protesting for the Dream Army, motivating people to vote, attending vigils and then hitting the barrios on foot again and again in an effort to register every last eligible voter.

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22 comments
Kitsugab
Kitsugab

This to inform you of a person living and working in the United States illegally. The names that this person assumes are as follows: Gabriela Sanchez (her niece), Karla P. Durazo (her aunt), Patty Durazo (her sister),Julieta Sanchez (her aunt), Patty Sanchez (her sister/her niece) Rocio Sanchez (her sister), Mayra Viramontes (her cousin), Karen Durazo (her cousin),Kenya Durazo (hercousin), Karina Sanchez (her cousin).All of the names assumed by her can be substantiated through her facebook account which is under the name Gabby Sanchez.Her Employer is: Dr. Larry Stark   3201 W. Peoria Ave # A-100   Phoenix, AZ 85029Her assumed Social Security # is her Aunt's Soc. Sec. # 611-32-7757 (Karla P. Durazo) who actually lives in California.She drives a pathfinder with AZ lic. # AHT4587 Her address is: 2220 W. Mission Ln. #1095 (which is in Larry Starks name /  Phoenix, AZ 85017    co-signed for)  SRP Acct # 919-863-000    (which is in Larry Starks name)Her Phone # 602-628-3116   (which is in Larry Starks name)Family Assistance Administration Case # 00564738 (Gabriela Sanchez)Dental work provided under the name Patty Sanchez. And full medical (BCBS)is paid for by Larry StarkHer sons name is Carlos Flores-Sanchez and he graduated from Cortez High School.She was raised by her Grandmother who was a whore in Mexico. This young woman makes it easier for other illegals to obtain medications includingnarcotics and evade citizenship tests through the Doctors office that she works in.Also supplying them with false identification and documentation. I am very concerned about the illegal activities (Document Fraud, Identity Theft, Conducting crimes in America) that she is involved in. Please address the above issues as soon as possible.

Concerned Citizen 

anevile
anevile

Erika is intelligent and well spoken. She is also illegal. Yes, she had no choice in coming here illegally. She does have the choice to return to Mexico and come here legally. We are not punishing her for her parents' actions but we are not rewarding her either. She is an adult and should be judged by her own actions. Go home and do it right.

Tasha
Tasha

So you want her to go "home" to a country she knows nothing about? How about we all go "home" to our places of origin since our "forefathers" brung us to this country illegally? FYI - This is coming from an american citizen.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Like him or not, that is the law.   No need to argue it, that's not going to change it.   Just vote... and she can't vote can she?    Nice way to make points by filming half the video in Spanish.   Looks like it was produced for the purpose of dividing the people.   There was no talk of coming together to oppose the powers that be.    That's the important issue here, not the changing of law for the advantage of one segment of the people.    The protesting of whatever the proposition number is.... is negative propaganda set up for the purpose of dividing the people and helping those who make and pass those laws.      Nothing happens in politics that has not been planned and approved by those who rule this planet.    That includes the criminal law makers and those who are allowed to protest.   

carmen
carmen

The beauty of Erika's advocacy is that is non confrontational ( I disagree with the word confrontation being used here). She presents reality to legislators who push lies and misconceptions to the public in a manner that is respectful, educated, articulated. Grace under fire.She is Russel Pearce's worst nightmare for she uncovers the ugliness of his anti immigrant militancy. Well deserved Erika !!!!!

Tasha
Tasha

Go Erika!!!!!

JD
JD

Anyone else laugh when Pearce said he doesn't make the law? If that's not what he does then I'd like to know what he does down at the capitol all day. 

Mistalee
Mistalee

He was being unusually candid. His handlers make the law. 

Mmartin
Mmartin

boooooo.. go home and work your butt off to make Mexico a better place. get a degree in mexico and go back and make changes there. Get out of AMERICA>>>> you do NOT belong here.

pierre rupert
pierre rupert

Mmartin why would you say that to someone?  Wouldn't you rather these kids get educated and be productive members of society??  They are home!!!!!  They are not leaving.   Deal with it.

Mistalee
Mistalee

WTF are you doing to make your country a better place, puto?

Allan
Allan

She is home.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Mmartin, how does it feel to know that one of the people you fear the most is a much classier human being than you will ever be?

Native Guns
Native Guns

That would be the same as telling you to go back to Germany, if you want to create another Nazi state, if you're not happy living in a (ahem)..."multi-cultural" society. Neither does Nazism belong here. Democracy is the opposite of your Hitler-like ideals.

ElExtranjero
ElExtranjero

Mmartin, what Native American tribe are you a member of?  Otherwise, do everyone else a favor and STFU.  Thanks!

Native Guns
Native Guns

Native Americans have nothing to do with that kind of rhetoric.

SSC
SSC

No, YOU don't belong here, bigot.  Leave and go back to Europe.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

All are welcome . . . . All are welcome . . . 

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

All are welcome . . . . All are welcome . . . 

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