Author Sonia Nazario to Address Immigration Policy

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Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Enrique's Journey, will present a public lecture on immigration policy in the U.S. during a multi-day campus visit.

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario. This book is available for purchase at the University Book Store.Pulitzer Prize-winner Sonia Nazario, author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling Enrique’s Journey, will present a public lecture at UW Tacoma’s William W. Philip Hall on Wed., April 29, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is part of a multi-day visit by Nazario to UW Tacoma which will include a panel discussion on immigration issues and classroom interactions with students.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, spent 20 years reporting and writing for U.S. newspapers on topics such as hunger, drug addiction and immigration. Her series for the Los Angeles Times about a Honduran boy’s epic journey to find his mother in the U.S. won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003 and became a national bestseller in book form.

In 2014, she reported on the detention of unaccompanied immigrant children at the U.S. border, putting the issue in the larger context of a refugee crisis rather than an immigration crisis.

In her UW Tacoma lecture, Nazario will describe her three-month endeavor to document in photographs the journey of 16-year-old Enrique to the United States, in search of his mother. She will discuss how current proposed immigration legislation will create more problems than it will solve.

UW Tacoma is a particularly relevant location for Nazario’s lecture. Controversy surrounding the operation and expansion of the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Northwest Detention Center, a holding facility for adults awaiting deportation proceedings, has paralleled the development of a committed immigrant advocacy community in the South Sound. Other local facilities include the Selma R. Carson Home in Fife, Wash., which houses undocumented and unaccompanied boys ages 12-17 who are, or will be, going through immigration proceedings.

Nazario’s visit is being coordinated by UW Tacoma’s Dr. Vanessa de Veritch Woodside, assistant professor of Hispanic studies. One of Woodside’s goals for the visit is to build upon UW Tacoma’s relationships with the local Latino/a community, expanding experiential learning opportunities for students. “My hope also is that this visit will enable community members to think critically about, and discuss the personal impact of, the political phenomenon of migration and potential policy solutions,” said Woodside.

Nazario’s lecture, “Enrique’s Journey & America’s Immigration Dilemma,” is part of the University of Washington’s Graduate School Public Lecture Series, presented in partnership with the UW Alumni Association, and made possible by generous support from the Walker-Ames Fund. Supporters also include UW Tacoma’s Arts and Lectures Committee, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Office for Equity and Diversity and Office of  Undergraduate Education.

What: “Enrique’s Journey & America’s Immigration Dilemma” – Graduate School Public Lecture by Sonia Nazario
When: Wed., April 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Where: William W. Philip Hall, UW Tacoma campus
Cost: FREE – advance registration required at

What: “Impacts of Immigration Policy on Youth” – Panel Discussion
Who: Sonia Nazario; Rebekah Fletcher (supervising attorney, Kids In Need of Defense); Maru Mora Villalpando (CEO - Latin Advocacy, activist – NWDC Resistance); Dr. Maria Chávez (associate professor of political science, Pacific Lutheran University); Art Tel (director, Selma R. Carson Home); Rosalinda Castro (UW Tacoma student, youth development specialist at Northwest Leadership Foundation); moderated by Vanessa de Vertich Woodside, assistant professor, UW Tacoma.
When: Thurs., April 30, 2015, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: William W. Philip Hall, UW Tacoma campus
Cost: FREE – advance registration required at

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / April 21, 2015
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or