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Las Cruces native Andrea Flores is not only a graduate of Harvard and of Columbia Law School (after graduating from Mayfield High School in 2006), she’s one of 10 young women authors who contributed to a New York Times best-selling nonfiction book for young adults called “Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope and Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House.”
Flores will be in Las Cruces for a talk and book signing at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Barnes & Noble in Mesilla Valley Mall, 700 S. Telshor Blvd.
A lawyer and immigration policy expert in Washington, D.C., Flores previously served three years in the Obama administration as a policy advisor, policy assistant and special assistant to the secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A colleague at the White House approached her and nine other women about telling their stories of working in government as members of diverse and underrepresented groups, said Flores, whose mother, Maria Flores, is a retired Las Cruces Public Schools teacher and member of the LCPS Board of Education.
Flores wrote the second chapter of the book about her experiences working on national immigration policy from the start of the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2011 until just before the child migrant crisis.
One of her goals in writing the book, Flores said, was to “inspire the next generation of young women” to serve in government and recognize that they can “come from all different places and have an impact.”
Flores said she also wanted to show that people working on policy development in the nation’s capital are not disconnected from the rest of the country. “I wanted to say there is a woman from Las Cruces … doing what she could to bring the perspective of a border community” to policy development at the White House.
Her message to young people, Flores said, is that “you can grow up in southern New Mexico and there are people around the country, especially in Washington, D.C. that will invest in you and support you in public service. Growing up in a place like New Mexico can open up a lot of opportunities.”
Flores was the first Latinx student body president in the history of Harvard University and later served as a regional policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 p