.

.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Assignment Week 2

Leave your questions for the speaker in the comments!

11 comments:

  1. The reading for this class reminded me of something I've been thinking about a lot for the last year-- hate crime against suspected illegal immigrants is on the rise. I was surprised to learn that, because it isn't something I was cognizant of. That made me want to make a documentary about the lives of illegal immigrants (unfortunately, I have neither the skills nor the contacts necessary to make such a project viable). Which brings me to my question: do you think most of the American population is really unaware of the struggles faced by immigrants and how hard it is to overcome that kind of prejudice and disadvantage?

    In this way it seems, to me, very unlike the racism faced by black Americans, which most of us are informed about on the surface level.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In recent years, the issue of illegal immigration has become very touchy subject when coupled with the plummet in the job market. People were/are fearful of illegal citizens taking our jobs. But in reality, it is much harder for those illegal citizens to get any kind of work we fear losing.

    In the article, Gonzales explains how the undocumented youth can be just as qualified and eligible for a job. Yet they are denied the opportunity due to their lack of a Social Security number, a number we take for granted. This leads me to question: why do we fear they will take our jobs? If those who do have this fear knew how difficult it is for undocumented youths to move up in the workforce, would they be less accusatory?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like, I'm sure, many of us in this class, I went to public school in what could be considered rural Kentucky. Woodford County, which is 20-30 minutes away from Transy (depending on how fast you drive), has more than its fair share of horse farms and, as you can imagine, illegal immigrants.

    In reading this article, I remembered a student, Nancy, from my own school. She graduated in 2010, a year before me, and it's the graduation that I remember. A good friend and I were acting as "junior marshals" for the ceremony, lining up the seniors and taking roll. When the teacher supervising the whole thing noticed that Nancy (a second year senior and single mother of two) was missing, she rallied the teachers and students that knew her to try and get her to graduation on time. From my understanding, one of the teachers drove out and picked her up from work, where she had been unable to get a ride to the ceremony.

    While I'm unsure of Nancy's immigration status or current job prospects, I continue to be touched by the extreme interest placed in her by the faculty and staff of Woodford County High School. Gonzales leads her readers to the conclusion that while Nancy's story, and those shared by others like Jose and Marisol in the article, are indeed inspiring, they are few in number. What can teachers and ourselves as students do to support these teens while they are in school? What steps, legally or otherwise, must be taken to ensure a future for all those who call the United States home?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This article made me think about the "American Dream", and America as "The Land of Opprotunity". How can we even refer to our country as this when we are limiting those who come here for the opprotunity to better themselves? It really amazed me that we give illegal individuals the right to a k-12 education that acquaints them to the american life but, then stunt their future educational endevors as an "American". How is the view of America changing amongst illegal immigrants? and immigrants in general?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gonzales states a key point of his argument on p. 113 of “Learning to Be Illegal.” He supports his claim that rites of passage associated with adulthood are much more complicated for undocumented youth by pointing out that “Finding a part-time job, applying for college, and obtaining a driver’s license—all markers of new roles and responsibilities—require legal status as a basis for participation.” My question has to do with the opportunities available to undocumented youth and young adults in Lexington, KY. Does applying to college in Kentucky require a legal status? Are there statistics about the number of undocumented young adults who are enrolled in college classes? Because many of the people Gonzales interviewed emphasized the importance of mentors, I also wonder about individuals and organizations who serve as mentors for undocumented youth hoping to attend college or pursuing a college education. What kinds of support networks are there in Lexington and in the rest of Kentucky?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I find it ironic that the government has and is taking steps to try to limit the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country and the tightened border is causing immigrants to make permanent homes in the United States. In response to Stacey's question, I think that with the job market still looking bleak, documented residents will continue to have this irrational fear that illegal immigrants are taking their jobs when in reality these undocumented youth are forced to take low paying jobs. America has a tendency to find scapegoats for a lot of things and I think undocumented youth serve as a scapegoat for others not being able to get a job.

    That being said, like Hanna mentioned in her post, I too grew up in an area where were many illegal immigrants worked. Because I grew up in not only a household but a community that had negative feelings towards illegal immigrants, I'm still not sure how I feel about undocumented immigrants. Reading this article, however, has shed some light on what undocumented youth really are like and what they go through to try to get a good education. Why don't schools help guide these teenagers through the challenges they face being undocumented? Why aren't guidance counselors required to be familiar with things like AB 540? What other states have bills that allow undocumented youth to pay tuition at in-state rates? Why don't counselors help them get a green card? In the article, Cory's parents thought she would have a green card by the time she graduated. Are parents of undocumented children worried that if they try to get a green card for their child that they will be deported? The article gave me the impression that many of the parents couldn't speak English so how much more difficult would that make it to get a green card? What exactly is the process for getting a green card? How long does it take?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This question is fairly similar to that of Alyssa's. As an education minor, or perhaps major, I tend to think of things in terms of education. While reading the passages concerning the students' early lives before they go on to try to attend college, I also wonder why students don't have more people to go to in the school system to help them with their difficulties in applying and attending universities. It is obviously not their fault that they were born into an illegal family, so I tend to think that perhaps educators play a key role in those students' lives. The illegal students should have an equal amount of help available to them as legal students do. I guess it doesn't have as much to do with the paper, but my question is, what is the the role of the teacher that knows the status of his or her illegal student? And as an educator, should we try to assist them in their journey into the adult illegal world or is there a line there that we should not cross? Where does a teacher's duty end and a family's duty begin?

    ReplyDelete
  8. In the section of his article titled "Discovery: Ages 16 to 18," Gonzales details the feelings experienced by undocumented youth when they find out their illegal status and the "dramatic limits of their rights" it entails (610). According to Gonzales, the young people he interviewed experience "confusion, anger, frustration, and despair...followed by a period of paralyzing shock" (610). Because it is hard to imagine people living permanently with such feelings (or maybe because I hope that they don't), I want to imagine that at some point the paralysis gives way to hope. My question, then, is what undocumented young adults can hope for. Given our political climate, what options do they have, even if these are options based on immigration changes still at a very early stage of making?

    ReplyDelete
  9. While reading the article, I was could not help but consider the identity crisis undocumented young adults must face: Are they American or Latino? Do they identify with their "legal" peers or their "illegal" families? Adolescence in itself is a confusing and ambiguous time, in which the struggle to establish an identity is prevalent. From a psychological standpoint, I am curious as to how the added stress of "not having a social security number" warps a young adult's development. The article reports that the younger children entering the US are more likely to advance in their educations. Is this because they more solidly identify themselves as American, due to having an increased amount of time to assimilate to the culture? Should undocumented adolescents disconnect themselves from their families and original cultures in order to "succeed" in the US?

    ReplyDelete
  10. The article talked described several students who were honor students or those who were placed on an advanced academic track in their high schools. I think that many of us can relate to that situation and the drive to pursue higher education. I know personally that I felt a lot of pressure to do well academically and to obtain a higher education, therefore I couldn't imagine the disappointment that many of these undocumented youths felt when they realized that their illegal status severely limited them from getting the same opportunity as their peers. So this makes me wonder what can be done to improve eligibility for a college. Are there other states besides California that offer something like the AB 540? With the rise of undocumented youths wanting college educations, is this the kind of reform that needs to happen at the state public university level or at a federal level?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I guess I got lucky by getting to hear Dr. Pavey speak during my sociology class this afternoon. I had already been thinking about this article since I read it, but I feel very fortunate to be able to talk about the subject matter it pertains to in more than one setting.

    My initial response to the article itself is much like Kremena's: what can these youth hope for? After our discussion in sociology, I realize that one of the greatest hopes must be for a change in our political climate and system. In the meantime, however, I wonder what helps undocumented youth to best cope with their situation. Is there anything that we as a class or as individuals could do to help them? How comfortably can we even interact with them given our vastly different experiences and life trajectories?

    ReplyDelete