Undocumented, but not unrepresented: Puente ESL students raise their voices in Washington, D.C. Shortly after President Trump’s swearing in, ESL instructor Kit Miller hit on an idea for how to make her students’ voices heard in the new political environment. She proposed an experiment that combined English language learning and self-advocacy skills. With Puente’s blessing, Miller invited her students– Mexican women in their 30s and 40s, many undocumented – to tell their personal immigration stories. She also invited them to write to their representatives in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. “It’s so easy to see the everyday impact of terrible public policies on the people I teach. What others miss is the positive impact that my students make. They are contributing to their community, and our country, and our world, and they have something to say,” says Miller. It was an emotionally risky writing prompt. For many of the women, it was their first time writing their own stories. Yet they eagerly embraced the assignment. The messages were touchingly simple and direct. “Don’t be mean – we work hard.” “Don’t cut services for children.” “Don’t separate families.” Miller assembled a photo collage of the messages into a document, along with students’ personal stories. On a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., Miller presented the document to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto). Eshoo’s reaction was heartfelt. “She was so emotional,” says Miller. She said, ‘My parents were refugees. This means so much to me. Tell your students I’m going to put this near my door so anyone who walks by can read it.’” And she did. Then, in June, at the ESL graduation, each student received a letter of commendation from the Congresswoman. 10