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Capitol Hill Staffer Quits Job To Fight Mother's Deportation

andiola
via keepustogether.org
Erika Andiola, right, with her mother.

via keepustogether.org

Erika Andiola, left, with her mother.

Erika Andiola, a co-founder of the Arizona DREAM Act coalition and outreach director for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), is leaving her job on Capitol Hill to return to Arizona. Andiola told the website BuzzFeed she is leaving her job to help her mother fight deportation.

Andiola was able to work for Sinema as outreach director because she was granted deferred action status as an eligible undocumented immigrant under President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order.

Andiola’s mother, Maria Arreola, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in January, the same week her daughter was hired to work for Sinema. Maria Andiola’s deportation was delayed when prosecutorial discretion was granted.

BuzzFeed quotes a letter from Erika Andiola to her colleagues:

“The politically-charged immigration debate has always been personal for me, and, in many ways, my life symbolizes the most controversial flashpoints of the debate: I came across the desert from Mexico as a child; I have lost members of my community and even my own family to deportations and controversial laws like SB1070 in my hometown of Mesa.”

BuzzFeed cites the letter, saying that Andiola, "hopes now is that pressure and awareness to her mother’s case will lead to a stay in her deportation, so the family can enjoy the holidays without the shadow of removal hanging over them.”

In a written statement Sinema said:

“We are hopeful that Erika’s mother can remain in the country because we believe families should stay together. Arizona families just like Erika’s are waiting for this Congress to pass commonsense comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders, keeps families together, and grows our economy.”

Sinema also tweeted about the situation from her personal Twitter account:

@kyrstensinema

Al Macias, former KJZZ news director, is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.