No One Is Illegal: ELINA AYON

yli is My Story


Calafia Fellow ~ Moss Beach, California

Elina Ayon was born and raised in a small town outside of San Francisco called Half Moon Bay.

Elina graduated from Half Moon Bay High School. She enjoys meeting new people, going on hikes and long boarding. She is funny, opinionated, blunt and likes to prove her points which fuels her dream of becoming a lawyer in the future. Elina will be attending Santa Barbara City College to major in Political Science in the fall.

Elina’s Social Justice Tagline:

Elina feels strongly on this subject from her personal experience because of the immigrants close to her family. She worries about the racist people who feel that her close ones are taking jobs from them, although this is not true because immigrants take jobs that common citizens don’t want and look down upon.

Elina is truly saddened that this is how people feel because her loved ones genuinely came here for a better life. She feels that if people saw their true intentions, then people wouldn’t see Mexicans as dangerous and that they take what is “ours.” She sees herself changing this problem by participating in more movements to show Mexicans’ true intentions and values. 

“I don’t believe a human is illegal just because they come from a different country or are a different race,” Elina says.

Some immigrant loved ones have spent half their lives here. She said she probably first heard the slogan during yli meetings. “I strongly believe that that’s true.”

“It’s really important right now because future elections are coming up… people should really be educated on what you’re voting for, [considering] some of the things the current president has said about building walls… it’s important to get a message out that humans aren’t illegal.”


Calafia is yli’s statewide youth policy journal, which amplifies the narratives of young people on topics and issue areas important to them and their communities. Each year, a Calafia Fellow is selected from each of yli’s seven office to identify the issue’s theme and write the stories. Along the way, they are mentored by experienced reporters, travel to statewide and national media conferences, and learn the steps to producing a printed publication. 

Stay tuned for this year’s pub!