Explanations, Immigration

The Scheme Evolves

It has been said that women make for better bloggers because they speak more and share their feelings easily.  I’m sure you have noticed this is not the case for me or this blog.  A lot of my posts communicate concepts, describe occurrences, or call for action.  I like to outline and explain things to my readers.  That’s about it.  There are few deep posts here not because I am shallow, but because my brain is oriented for observation rather than expression.  Some think this makes for a boring, superficial blog but I am grateful for having the space to tell you about or show you things I think are important/ interesting.

I was always the person who would rather do a lab or gather information than any other activity.  You know, the annoying person with the to-do list who picks apart topics rather than focusing on the whole.  This is probably why I am much more comfortable writing an explanation about something or focus on objectives rather than tell you what I’m feeling.  My husband does this too and I realized one day that I sometimes misinterpret this as condescending behavior, assuming I don’t get the point.  This is just his way of communicating, and it’s really not that different from my own.  Readers, do you ever get the feeling I am patronizing you?  Do I over-explain things?  I’m sorry if I do, you know the topics better than I do in most cases.  Explaining a concept makes me understand it better and helps me plan around it.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about our crackpot scheme to escape Arizona.  I took the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam yesterday and passed.  It will take a few weeks to get the certificate in (my picture looks awful by the way.  I’m gonna lie and say I was sick) but after that all I have to do is apply to the state in which I want to practice.  Woohoo!

I had a job interview today and I’m still not sure why I agreed to it.  It’s with a marketing company we’ll call Amalgamate.  They found my resume online and decided I was “scientific enough” to make a good data analyst so I thought, what the hell.  The interview went well enough until the second interviewer told me he’s uncomfortable hiring me because he thinks I’m going to blow them off once something good in my field comes along.  Couldn’t that be true of about anyone who walks through the door?  I would consider taking the job for a couple of months if it is offered (it won’t be).  The actual job itself sounds fun, but the fast pace marketing part does not.  Good analysis is built on careful observation and attention to detail in order to discern trends and make solid hypotheses.  The process should not be rushed.

Educational, Immigration

Huppenthal Lied.

Here’s the Ethnic Studies Audit (H/T to Three Sonorans for making it available to everyone)

Summary on page 53:  “During the curriculum audit period, no observable evidence was present to suggest that any classroom within Tucson Unified School District is in direct violation of the law A.R.S. 15-112.”

Huppenthal Scandal goes national as audit reveals Ethnic Studies a successful program that is not in violation of law Three Sonorans

Huppenthal ignores audit he commissioned Blog for Arizona

“This decision is not about politics; it is about education,” Huppenthal said. “I have a legal responsibility to uphold the law and a professional imperative to ensure every student has access to an excellent education.”

John Huppenthal’s Whopper on Ethnic Studies: Cambium Report Doesn’t Back Hup’s Declaration that Tucson’s MASD Program Violates State Law Feathered Bastard

Journalists there had no time to read or even browse the 120 page report. It was not provided to them in PDF form, and the presser itself did not discuss the report’s actual findings.

Arizona’s Next Scandal? Tea Party State Official Says Ethnic Studies Violates Ban Huffington Post

Nearly one year ago, extremist Tea Party state senator John Huppenthal ran for Arizona’s superintendent of education post with an inflammatory campaign to “stop la raza” and terminate Tucson’s acclaimed Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program.

Educational, Immigration

Ethnic Studies Meeting & All Night Vigil Tomorrow

The “special meeting” will be closed to the public, which I’m sure violates Arizona Revised Statutes 431.01(A):

“All meetings of any public body shall be public meetings and all persons so desiring shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.” A.R.S. § 38-431.01(A).

H/T to Three Sonorans for digging that one up.  Read his article here.


I just stumbled upon Dr. Cintli blog; one entry describes the arrests that occurred the evening of May 3rd:

At this meeting, seven people were arrested for the criminal act of attempting to speak to the board. One elderly and disabled professor, Lupe Castillo, 69, was arrested by some 20 helmeted and shielded officers for attempting to read ”A Letter from the Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. The others arrestees were [secretly] sent to two jails before they were booked and released. In the action inside, dozens of riot squad police physically threw other people out the building, including elders, this while hundreds of MAS supporters outside stood their ground. Then later, the violence, caught on videotape, started behind the building. Police officers in full riot gear began throwing young students, parents and other community members around like rag dolls. Officially, the officers did a great job, commended by the chief of police.

I know professor Lupe through No More Deaths.  She is a strong supporter of the immigrants rights movement and attends the Migrant Trail Walk every year even though she is physically unable to walk far.  She helps with driving a van full of supplies when she isn’t able to walk any further.

I think it’s on the 5th day of the walk, on the BLM land I like to call the Devil’s Armpit, she is joined by Margo Cowan (who does the whole walk; she is awesome) and Isabel Garcia.  The three women give a mini lecture on the history and militarization of the U.S./Mexico border.  While many of the people who do the walk are already familiar with this history, they present it in such an engaging way that you learn something new every time and the discussion afterwards is lively.  To read about how Lupe and the others were treated really pissed me off.

Drama, Explanations, Immigration

Change of Plans

Since DH’s case (case 1) has been in the 9th Circuit for so long, the last plan in place was for me to finish school & find a job, and for DH to continue working and taking classes.  The worst case scenario we had planned for was an enforced order of removal in the family’s case, so we were hoping he would be able to finish a 2 year degree (some schools abroad that we were looking at would accept them for transfer).  This was kind of dependent upon my finding a job abroad with my life sciences degree; at least if we were suddenly living abroad we wouldn’t be completely shit out of luck.  I have seen people get by with less so I figured we could be ok too.

We at least had a place to live, DH’s job, and his classes here.  We were going to stand strong and I would eventually find a job, even if it was a temporary job not in my field (I have since been told I am unqualified to be a housekeeper.  I’d like that employer to know I am good at keeping house, thank you very mucho.).

Things we did not consider:

  1. I would be unemployed for so long
  2. Arizona really sucks
  3. Fate and reality would conspire against us

I am in my 6th month of job deficiency and while DH’s job has been good (great boss, nice coworkers, overall good opportunity that other people don’t have so we’re grateful) it won’t be enough if it’s all we have.

The Maricopa Community College Board decided to raise tuition rates for undocumented students “out of state students taking less than 6 credits a semester”  (previously blogged about here) so DH can’t attend school anymore.  He is 4 classes away from an A.S.  This reinforces point number 2.

All we have left here is DH’s job which is hardly anything at all.  We can’t stay here and do nothing.  Maybe it’s a little desperate and dumb considering we could hear from the 9th Circuit soon, but we’re thinking of leaving.  I am currently studying at home for a Pharmacy Tech certification and if I’m able to do it, we might be able to move to a state with lower tuition rates in the next 2-3 months.  We have a couple in mind, and students are given in-state residency (for tuition purposes) if their spouses are residents of those states.  We think this would apply to us but haven’t heard back from the admissions councilors yet.  In any case their out-of-state tuition rates are half of ours anyway.  This could all be a huge waste of resources if DH’s family is to be deported but it beats sitting around waiting for them to decide how we live our lives.

So here goes nothing.

Drama, Immigration, Rant

230% Increase in Tuition Fees for Undocumented Students

The Maricopa Community Colleges used to charge $96 per credit hour for anyone taking 6 credit hours or less a semester.  This is how many undocumented students were able to attend class, including my husband.  This is a very slow and frustrating route to higher education, but at least it made education possible.  A student could take two 3-credit classes  for about $576 or a class with a long lab for about $384.

This is no more, at least in this district.  The district board has decided to increase the fees to $317 per credit hour.  Your average three credit hour class will now cost an undocumented student $915 and with no chance for financial aid, means the end of dreams for many students. The new rates go in to effect in July.

Last month, the Phoenix New Times reported that Board President, Mr. Lumm, warned students that the measure was intended to target undocumented students.  Many members disagreed, especially Debra Pearson, who is a member of the Minuteman Civil Dense Defense Corps.

Some students have decided to leave Arizona in hopes of finding schools with lower tuition rates and less strict residency rules.  My husband and I are planning to save a little money before we look for another school for him to attend.


Bright Spots of Good News

Representative Kavanagh decided to put in place a plan that would put Balbir Singh Sodhi‘s name back on the memorial should his legislation be signed by Brewer.

From Jim Walsh’s article:

“I apologized for dredging up the sorrow once again. I apologized for any misunderstanding,” Kavanagh said.

Rana Singh Sodhi said he appreciates Kavanagh’s apology and his offer to correct the error if Brewer signs the bill.

The TUSD board meeting was disrupted by student activists and will be postponed until May 5th!  View the article and video by Three Sonorans:
The good stuff starts at 7:05.  I love Tucson, with its old hippies and Baja Arizona dreams.

From Alternet: Arizona Witch Hunt Showdown on Tuesday: Exclusive Interviews with Ethnic Studies Teachers

“Despite the fact that a costly state-commissioned audit has been delayed and largely discredited, and a new federal suit has recently been filed by the affected Mexican American Studies teachers, the once defiant Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) governing board could buckle under the state’s bullying and consider a resolution that effectively castrates one of their district’s most acclaimed programs.

Only months ago, TUSD officials vowed to “fight to the end” against the bizarre HB2281 law passed by the extremist Tea Party-controlled Arizona state legislature, which bans any school program that advocates the overthrow of the government. TUSD superintendent John Pedicone had defiantly challenged: “How can we be out of compliance with a law that’s unconstitutional?”

That sentiment seems to have waned quickly, as Arizona’s rabid state administrators ramped up threats to cut $15 million from the TUSD budget for any program non-compliance with the new law.”

The Administration might be asking ICE to take it a little easier on undocumented students who have not committed crimes.  Some students have seen their deportation orders halted recently.  The NY Times article is here.