Making his first appearance on America’s Work Force Radio Podcast, Laz Ayala, founder of Illegal the Project, joined the Sept. 4 episode to share his brave story of migrating from El Salvador to the U.S. in order to achieve the American Dream.
Author of “Illegal: One immigrant’s life or death journey to the American dream,” Ayala did in fact achieve the American Dream, in his eyes.
In 1981, while El Salvador was in the midst of a civil war, Ayala, who was just 14 at the time, was smuggled into a Cadillac with his family and taken to the U.S. to seek a better life.
Once he learned English, Ayala enrolled in a California high school and eventually attended college. He could not complete his degree because he was not a legal citizen.
In 1991, he became a naturalized citizen.
Reinventing what it means to be an American
Currently, Ayala is a real estate developer who builds homes in his community in southern Oregon, and helps to fight for immigration reform.
Within the past five years, Ayala stumbled upon his calling; standing up and fighting for the misrepresentation of immigrants.
During this time, he began working on Illegal the Project, a movement to humanize the conversation around immigrants and their families within the U.S.
Ayala believes the construction industry is suffering because of the current immigration system, which deports many immigrants, who work in the trades.
For more information about Illegal the Project, visit their website.