The spokeswoman to the Latino community for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is Erika Andiola, who entered the U.S. illegally as a child. Andiola joined the campaign in October 2015. She is operating as the “Latino Outreach Strategist for the Southwestern Region,” and was welcomed by Arturo Carmona – the Latino outreach director for Sanders. Carmona said “We are excited to have Erika Andiola on the team.”
In an interview with Univision, she said that once Sanders occupies the White House, the deportation and raids on illegals will come to a halt. Translated from Spanish, Andiola said in the interview: “Arriving to the presidency, he’s not only going to focus on immigration reform in Congress. He’s going to focus on stopping deportations, stopping the raids.” Sanders reiterated this position in the Feb. 11 Democratic presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
Andiola is one of the so-called DREAMers who benefited from President Obama’s executive action to grant work permits to illegal aliens who entered the country as minors. In 2013, Andiola got a job on the staff of U.S. Rep. Krysten Sinema of Arizona as a Congressional staffer despite her immigration status. This video is in Spanish but has English subtitles.
In 2013, Andiola's mother and brother - Maria Arreola and Heriberto Andiola Arreola - were arrested by federal immigration authorities. The then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was defensive about the arrest. Andiola took to YouTube to tearfully protest her family separation due the enforcement of immigration law. Latino and immigrant advocates issued a hue and cry over the arrest, accusing DHS of exacting revenge on young Andiola for her activism. DHS quickly released the mother and brother.
Andiola was born in Durango State, Mexico. She and her family emigrated to Arizona when she was 11 years old. She later studied psychology at Arizona State University. She is a co-founder of DRM Capitol Group and the Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC) - an umbrella organization of groups and individuals across Arizona who advocate immigrant and Latino causes.