Author of ‘Undocumented’ visits campus

Literary Device: a copy of Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s “Undocumented” along with the author’s visit flyer. (Marissa Yocham/Lariat)

Saddleback College held the “One Book, One College” author visit for Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s memoir titled “Undocumented” at the campus McKinney Theater on Tuesday April 24. One Book One College is a shared school-wide read that has the goal to promote a broader understanding of experiences to open up our own viewpoints as a campus. With the current political climate on the topic of immigration, “Undocumented” has become a window for students to look into the experiences of Padilla.

The event started at 9:30 a.m. with a free Dominican-style breakfast prepared and provided by the Saddleback College culinary arts program. Jazz musicians from the Saddleback Jazz Studies Combo performed for those who waited and ate.

English 1B student  Hanna Jackson stood with her friends while waiting for the theater to open and commented on what she looked forward to during the event.

“I’m just looking for a new perspective on like the whole immigration thing,” Jackson said.

The doors to McKinney Theater opened around 10:15 a.m. with a live broadcast for overflow seating in Room 313 of the Science and Math Building. The theater was filled to capacity and soft chatter filled the room as students, faculty and guests filed in.

A ‘readers theater’, where several actors took passages from the book and acted them out,  by Larry Radden, Lexi Gin and Jared Schreiner preceded the discussion.

After Padilla made his appearance for the real event to begin, he spoke on the themes of immigration and geo-political patterns in history that tied into his autobiography.

He spoke of his personal struggle of trying to obtain his green card and how the immigration system here in the United States is severely flawed.

Ann Mudry, who attended with a friend, expressed Padilla’s presentation was “simply fantastic.”

Cole Peloquin, current president of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society, gave his own personal insight of what he had taken away from Padilla’s presentation and his thoughts of how impactful “Undocumented” was on him.

“I think this a book that definitely needed to be written,” Peloquin said.

Following the Q&A towards the end of the presentation, that were pre-written and given to a group of selected students to ask Padilla. The questions ranged from his current relationship with his brother from the strained relationship we see in the book to Padilla’s personal stance on his Dominican heritage.

Padilla held a book signing in the campus quad outside of McKinney Theater until 1:30 p.m. He will also make his presentation at the Mission Viejo Public Library on April 25 at 6 p.m.