Drama, Explanations, Genealogy, Immigration, Rant

About that Canada plan…

Over a year ago, our state legislature passed a law effectively barring undocumented students from attending our community colleges, after implementing similar rules in 2006 at our state universities.  This forced a lot of undocumented students, including my straight A husband who is also legally barred from accepting scholarships despite his hard work, to drop out of school. After a lot of brainstorming and plotting for the past year+ we were unable to find a viable option for him to return to school thus far.

First we tried applying to the University of North Dakota.  The tuition was reasonable and the admissions people were very nice and helpful but we hit a wall when they asked for DH’s I-94 since DH could not be classified as an in-state or out-of-state student.  We also applied to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with the same experience.  This American university plan was not going to work.

Then we tried applying to the University of New Brunswick in Canada.  DH was accepted for the Fall 2011 semester and under the advice of an attorney specializing in Canadian immigration, we asked to be processed at the Canadian embassy in California.  Months passed, we asked the university to defer his entry (Spring 2012) which they did, then we received our application back stating that they could not process the application.  DH scrambled to reapply to UNB for Fall 2012 and send the student visa application to the Canadian consulate in Romania, where Bulgarians are served.

This week we learned that our application was refused based on DH’s current immigration status.  We were told they are not confident we will leave Canada after DH’s course of study to which we argued that our plan was to take advantage of Bulgaria’s membership in the European Union to find work in an English-speaking country after our visas expired.  They basically told us not to reapply unless DH’s status changed.  I think we’ve exhausted our escape route options, so we’ll see what happens next.

I’ve been researching my family history in the meantime because it felt good to be consumed by something other than worry.  I’m the type of person who obsesses over things, so the distraction from our situation is great.  My family has roots all over the American Southwest and I was surprised to learn of immigrants in our family history just a few generations back, and more surprised to learn that our roots extend to Europe.  This new information has reminded me that people will always seek the opportunity to better their lives.  The U.S. would do well to remember our roots.

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.


Reading Day

Hola Readers,

My soil final was yesterday; I think I did ok.  It was tough!  Lots of synthetic essay questions and while studying I think I focused too much on math.  Unlike the midterm, the final wasn’t heavy on chemistry and math.  I averaged a B on everything else during the semester, but this final was 30% of my grade so I am a bit nervous about how I did on it.

My final final is tomorrow at 7:30 in the morning and today is Reading Day, so I’ll probably be online most of the time studying.  Basically, I feel like this:

Bring it.

*UPDATE* 7pm DREAMact passes the House! Tomorrow the Senate! ¡Tiahui!