Press Release

Contact: Ed Walz
Phone: 202-657-0685

Journalist Recognized as Champion for Children

Children of Immigrants

Washington – Today, the First Focus Campaign for Children, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy group, recognized journalist Sonia Nazario for her leadership on issues important to children.

“Journalists often cover political debates without ever exploring the critical impact on children,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the Campaign for Children. “Sonia Nazario connected the dots, and her work has made children a priority for voters and policymakers.”

The First Focus Campaign for Children routinely recognizes members of Congress who advance policy to improve the health and well-being of children. The organization occasionally recognizes journalists whose work documents the impact of federal policy on the lives of children. In recognizing Ms. Nazario as a Champion for Children, the advocacy group cited her career-long track record of excellence in journalism exploring policy debates that matter for children. For more than 20 years Nazario has explored critical children’s policy issues, including childhood hunger and the consequences for children of a parent’s drug addiction. More recently, Nazario turned a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of Los Angeles Times articles into Enrique’s Journey. The national bestseller chronicles a 16-year-old boy’s odyssey from Honduras to the United States, driven by a need to reunite with a mother he had not seen in eleven years. During the recent debate regarding the increase of child migrants fleeing Central America, Nazario became an advocate for these children by sharing Enrique’s story before Congress, with major media outlets, and through numerous public speaking engagements.

“America’s broken immigration policy tears thousands of children from their parents every year and puts children in harm’s way, but most Americans never see the human consequences,” said Lesley. “Sonia Nazario challenges voters and policymakers to look into the faces of children who suffer every day because of Washington’s failure.”

“Most children coming to the U.S. alone and unlawfully today are fleeing devastating violence in Central America,” said Nazario. They are running for their lives. It is critical that policymakers treat them for what they are – refugees – vulnerable children who should be protected.”

The advocacy organization recognized as “Champions for Children” 50 Members of Congress for their extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation. An additional 50 Members were recognized as “Defenders of Children” for their support of policies that advance the well-being of children. Nazario was the only journalist recognized as a Champion for Children.


The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit