Liz Luna, PLAN Board Member, Uplifting the Voices of Mixed Status Families like Hers
October 12, 2021
As told by
“So often decisions are made without the story of us – but our story is POWERFUL, our community's voice is POWERFUL.”
So often decisions are made without the story of us – the undocumented, mixed-status families, members of a community who are made to feel powerless because we don’t or our families don’t have legal status and the right to work. But our story is POWERFUL, our community's voice is POWERFUL, and too often we go by unheard. I share my story because mine is like that of many families.
“Despite all my work to change the system, I couldn't stop the system from coming for my family.”
As the oldest child of undocumented parents from Mexico, when things happen I supported – translating, finding resources, and navigating systems and institutions that were built to push us out. In 2006, I marched for a path to citizenship and in 2010, at the age of fifteen, I put on a yellow shirt and held hands with others form a peaceful community line as we protested SB 1070. At ASU, on a Los Diablos scholarship, I studied education wanting to engage young people in thoughtful content and impact their long-term trajectory, but I knew that I would be under resourced. Knowing I wanted and need to be heard, I switched courses and started a career in politics and organizing. I have worked on several local and national campaigns, but I am most proud of running Raquel Teran’s Arizona House race. Electing someone from my own community with a history of fighting for our community to represent my family meant so much to me. I am now Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and work to elect candidates who similarly will deliver on a better Arizona for my community and family. But despite all my work to change the system, I couldn’t stop the system from coming for my family.
In 2019, my dad was picked up and detained by ICE. I leveraged my community network and support to pay for a great attorney, Delia Salvatierra, and to get him out on a bond. Nearly two years later, my dad is still like many in limbo but we are hopeful that he will soon be able to get legal status. As much as my dad’s case made my fears tangible, I know I am one of the lucky ones because I had access to resources and people to be by my side. I joined the PLAN Board and became a monthly donor because I want to make sure undocumented families without connections can get accurate information and quality lawyers to fight with them against the deportation machine.