AILA Presents Agencia EFE reporter Paula Diaz with the 2016 Media Leadership Award

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will present Agencia EFE reporter Paula Diaz with the 2016 Media Leadership Award, given to the individual whose efforts in the media most accurately depict immigration and immigrants. Ms. Diaz will accept the award this week during AILA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

For the last 16 years, Paula Diaz has covered immigration issues on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border for various press outlets. She is currently the Arizona Border Correspondent for EFE - the world's largest Spanish language news agency and the fourth largest worldwide - where she writes regularly on U.S. immigration issues. Immigration has been the focus of Ms. Diaz's career, and she has helped to bring to light the experiences of migrant communities in the United States, their assimilation, and their struggle towards recognition and their path to legalization.

Ms. Diaz is a graduate of the Communications and Journalism program at Universidad Autonoma de Occidente in Cali, Colombia. After graduation, she worked as the spokesperson for the Yumbo City Mayor and for a congressional representative in Colombia. In 2000, she moved to the United States, and in 2001 she began her journalism career, initially working for independent publications, and shortly after becoming the Los Angeles correspondent for La Prensa Grafica and El Diario de Hoy, two of the major publications in El Salvador. She continues to cover stories for both outlets from Arizona.

In 2004, she joined Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles, as their immigration reporter. She covered a multitude of issues affecting the Latino community, such as human and civil rights violations, deportation proceedings, and the separation of families. She was one of twelve U.S. journalists from ethnic media organizations selected in 2008 to take part in a fellowship program on immigration coverage organized by the Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ) at the University of Southern California. During her career, she has interviewed several heads of state from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Colombia.

Since joining EFE in 2012, she has had the opportunity to cover dozens of stories related to the mass migration of unaccompanied children and immigrant family units, along with many other issues that impact immigration policy. Her stories continue to reach U.S. national TV broadcast channels through opportunities with Telemundo Network, Estrella TV, and Azteca America.

Ms. Diaz is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and has been recognized by the City of Los Angeles, the California State Assembly and community organizations for her continuous coverage and support of the immigrant community.

She resides in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband Mario Agundez and her 5-year-old daughter Sophia.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16062035.