May 12, 2013
This week is my last week in the M.A. in Sociology program at SDSU. Before graduating next weekend, I have to finish grading students’ final assignments and finish editing my thesis.
Just last week I defended and passed my thesis (woo!) and so right now I’m working on finishing up the edits I have to make, which are minor, but I have to do before I turn it in for publishing. In finishing my 2 year thesis project, I am beyond thankful to have gotten the opportunity to research such an interesting and powerful topic. In looking at offline and online activism for undocumented youth rights, I got the opportunity to interview 11 amazing activists who shared with me their experiences and a friendship. I will post soon a more detailed blog about the thesis process, but as it comes to an end, I am hopeful that my project will contribute in different ways to literature and activism.
Looking back, two years as a graduate student went by incredibly fast. In the two years, I made valuable relationships with new friends and professors. I also traveled to Chicago for a research assistantship at the University of Chicago the summer after my first year. I continued to be involved in activism with the amazing San Diego DREAM Team. I began blogging. Along with my sister and two close friends, we created UndocuPick-Up Lines for lots of undoculove. I went through some challenging experiences, but hung in there with the support of my loved ones. I did much more than I could have ever imagined.
Because I didn’t know about graduate school until the end of my third year as an undergraduate, I have been undocumented for 10+ years (now DACAmented), and because plenty of times I have thought about giving up because of financial, political, emotional, and social challenges, it is with great pride that I will graduate this Saturday.
My degree means a lot to me for the undocumented youth that will come after me, which I hope to mentor. For my family, who has made incredible sacrifices and has remained strong to continue supporting and motivating me. For my amazing/loving partner, who has been by my side since day one inspiring, supporting, motivating, and pushing me to keep going. For all of my friends, whose friendship I value so much. For my community, where I have found endless reasons to fight until we get closer and closer to achieving social justice for all immigrants.
May 6, 2013
- States that ban enrollment to undocumented students: Montana, Alabama, South Carolina
May 1, 2013
The Center for Latin American Studies and the Berkeley Law School present a talk with Giorgio Jackson, one of the leaders of Chile's student movement, from November 30, 2011.
Over the past 20 years Chile has made significant strides in expanding access to higher education. However, much of this expansion has been achieved through for-profit universities of uneven quality. Overall, the state pays only 15 percent of higher education costs, leaving families to come up with the rest, often by taking on heavy debt.
April 29, 2013
Award-winning director and New York University arts professor Marco Williams, most commonly known for his work focusing on racial tensions and fiction, says he was steered in another direction for his most recent film. Around 2007, he became aware of the more than 2,000 dead bodies and skeletal remains of immigrants found in southern Arizona who died trying to cross the desert since 1998, and he decided to make a film to bring attention to them called “The Undocumented.”
April 23, 2013
Here’s the link to the latest guide by Educators 4 Fair Consideration:
“Got DACA, now what?” answers questions regarding traveling, working, and driving after receiving DACA, as well as information on renewing DACA.
I highly recommend checking it out if you have or will benefit(ed) from DACA and are thinking about traveling under Advance Parole and/or need to know how to tell your current employer about your SSN. It’s also helpful to read over the guide if you work with DACA-eligible undocumented youth.
April 15, 2013
After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of eight Senators has drafted a blueprint that would sharply transform the nation's current immigration laws. NBC Latino obtained an advanced memo of the bill's main points ahead of an announcement. Here are some brief key provisions:
Pathway to citizenship for undocumented
The bill provides a path to citizenship for the nation's approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants as long as they…
April 10, 2013
Almost done with my Master’s! A little over a month left and I will receive my M.A. in Sociology. Before then, I have to finish up my thesis, which includes revisions, meetings, thesis defense, formatting, and publishing. Oh the joys of writing a thesis. Regardless of the $ that it’s going to cost me to format and publish my thesis, I’m excited for the research project I took on. I was able to further explore online and offline activism for undocumented immigrant youth rights, and I have plenty more of related research questions I’d love to pursue during my doctoral studies.
Lately I have been busy working on my thesis, side research projects, organizing, presenting, and writing my first book chapter. I wanted to share the following articles with you all that cover different topics, but are all related to immigration.
- “Who and Where the DREAMers are” http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/who-and-where-dreamers-are
The Immigration Policy Center published on August 2012, demographics about DACA-eligible youth
- “USA: DREAMing comprehensive immigration reform” by Elizabeth Kennedy http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/elizabeth-kennedy/usa-dreaming-comprehensive-immigration-reform
I recently met Elizabeth at an academic conference presentation here in San Diego, CA and got the opportunity to read her article about the activism before and after DACA, varying state policies, and the fight for CIR.
- “Dreamie of the Week- Tam Tran” http://www.dreamactivist.org/dreamie-of-the-week-tam-tran/
In writing my first book chapter on activism for undocumented immigrant rights, I knew I had to cover Tam Tran’s contribution to the movement. This post by Dream ACTivist.org discusses Tam’s work, and most notably, it briefly mentions her testimony before Congress, how it resulted in ICE attempting to deport her parents, and the success of stopping such deportation thanks to the support of her online and offline network. Such success was one of the first that signaled a time for undocumented youth to come out of the shadows because silence will often mean fear and visibility will mean protection.
Last, but not least, I came across La Santa Cecilia’s latest video capturing some of the experiences of being undocumented. In “Hielo” (ICE), La Santa Cecilia features several individuals who are themselves undocumented in real life. Watching this video both saddened and empowered me to keep going. Hope it has a similar effect for those of you that get the chance to check it out; highly recommend it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lNJviuYUEQ&feature=youtu.be
That’s all I can post for now, hoping to post more updates, resources, and other helpful information soon.
March 10, 2013
National Coming Out of the Shadows week starts today! National Coming Out of the Shadows week started in Chicago, Illinois on March 10, 2010, when undocumented youth declared to be “undocumented and unafraid” at the Federal Plaza, facing the immigration and federal office building.
For the first time, San Diego,CA is joining the efforts and the San Diego DREAM Team has launched a week long social media campaign where SDDT members will share their coming out of the shadows stories. Here’s my story:
To stay tuned for more SDDT members’ stories and other news related to immigration, make sure to “like” the SDDT Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/SdDreamTeam
Here’s some humor and creativity by a fellow DREAMer, Quinto Imperio on falling in love with a DREAMer. It’s a spoof of the song “I’m in love with a stripper” by T-Pain.
I love the lyrics so I hope you all find it as entertaining and/or representative!
She’s so sexy in the rallies. I remember when she told me her story and came out (came out). She said that she was a DREAMer (she didn’t know).
Here’s the link to the full song and lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=6VPczDpinV8&feature=player_embedded
Check out more from Quinto Imperio at…
March 9, 2013
This past Wednesday March 6 I flew to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago’s SSA PhD program open house.
At the open house, we, admitted PhD applicants, got the opportunity to meet Faculty, current PhD students, and learn more about the program to help us decide if the program and school are the right place for us.
The event began on Thursday with a full day of back to back meetings with Faculty and current students. At each meeting, I talked about my own research interests, Faculty’s and students’ interests and projects, as well as learned about the program’s degree requirements, the field of social work, and much more. From 8:00am to 10:00pm I was busy taking a lot of information in.
Friday from 9am to 1:00pm was the same. I didn’t get to enjoy much of Chicago this time because they sure kept us busy and by the end of each day I was exhausted. In fact, I flew back to San Diego yesterday at 5pm and I’m still feeling tired!
Other things that took place during my visit- Since I am doing a Graduate Assistantship this semester, I had to grade students’ assignments. I was glad the flight was 4 hours long because on the way there I got all of my grading done! On the flight back, I worked on my thesis.
I’m currently finishing up my data and conclusion thesis chapters so it has been keeping me busy. I’m also working on 4 research projects. One about the post grad experiences of undocumented college students, another about online activism of undocumented youth, immigration local and state policies, and the last about mixed status families. As soon as I returned from Chicago, I had to get back to my other work!
I haven’t gotten much time to process all that happened during my visit. To be honest, it was definitely information overload to be thinking about the program, research, Faculty I can work with, publishing, degree requirements, housing, moving, and on top of all of that, I was also reflecting on my experiences as they’re shaped by my immigration status and education.
I won’t go too in-depth because this is a conversation that I could elaborate on for hours, but as a glimpse of what was going through my mind… it was my first time flying with a U.S. government issued ID (DACA-mented privilege). I was thankful that for the first time I did not have to worry about the what if’s of getting asked about my Mexican passport. Also, I will be the only undocumented PhD student. I expect there will be a lot of figuring out to navigate the program and create a path for coming undocumented students.
This trip also made me reflect on my opportunities and how they would not be possible without the support of my family, friends, Professors/mentors, and community. I will always be thankful because each one has greatly contributed to my passion of continuing my education, as well as has reminded me that I am not alone in this journey. I know that completing the doctoral program will be challenging in many ways, but I will stay determined to continue making an impact and helping others along the way and once I am able to become a Professor, Researcher, and Author.
I’m looking forward to what’s to come and will keep you all updated!
Special thanks and a shout to my friends in Chicago who I got to see and catch up with these last couple of days. I had missed you all and will be back later this year