Arizona 'DREAMer' featured in Time Magazine cover story

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Ahead of President Barack Obama's announcement of suspending deportations for young undocumented immigrants, a story was already brewing. The story now featured in Time Magazine has to do with the so-called "DREAMers."

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, it's the story of 36 undocumented immigrants from around the world who were illegally brought to the Unites States by their parents as children.

One of them is Arizona resident Erika Andiola.

Andiola, an Arizona State University graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology, said she is pleased with the president's announcement last week. Having spent more than 15 years in the U.S., however, she believes the work of the "DREAMers" is not done yet.

"DREAMers" are those who support the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), which would allow permanent residency for certain illegal immigrants who meet some very specific requirements similar to those Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano laid out in her memo about the Obama administration's immigration policy change Friday.

The DREAM Act has been before Congress on several occasions, but has never been passed and signed into law.

Those who would benefit from the DREAM Act are the same people Obama's executive order is meant to help.

While on "Good Morning! Arizona " Tuesday, I asked Andiola why she hadn't gone "through the proper channels to become a citizen?"

"We had no money and we're just trying to survive," Andiola answered, explaining that her family left Mexico to escape domestic violence. "My mother has been trying to get her papers, but it's been a mess."

Like others in Vargas' story, Andiola, a leader of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, talked about the immigrant-led movement's hopes of bringing about fair immigration reform and policies.

The magazine, which is available online and on newsstands, features a personal essay from Vargas, who himself is an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines.