Education should be for everyone

 

Approximately 17%, roughly two million, of illegal immigrants are under the age of 18, about 65 thousand graduate from high school each year, and only 5-10% of them continue to higher education”(Chen, Edith Wen-Chu, Ibarra, Hugo; Sherman, Ross). Why is this important? Why can’t all Undocumented students have the same rights in education as if they were not undocumented? Why is this a problem? Why is this important? When reading that statistic these questions might be going through your mind. Well, I want to talk about this topic and tell people that this topic is important to me because everyone deserves a education without worrying if they will not make it to their dreams. They should have the same opportunities as if a legal student would have because they did not have a say to be undocumented so they should have a say now for their education. Most undocumented Immigrants are not able to go to school after college because of challenges they have to face with being undocumented. When put in that situation most undocumented high schoolers tend to give up dreams or not care at all because of knowing what they will or will not face with immigration later in in their lifetime. I believe that undocumented teens should be able to get the education they came for because that was the reason why they came to the United States in the first place so people shouldn’t take that away from them. In fact, the United States is the land of opportunity there are great places to work and to have a great education so we can share it with more people.   

To begin, Immigrants have a big impact on our community because of all the work they contribute to our community immensely. My friend Natalie Rojas and I went to Fruitvale bart station to interview people about what they think about immigration and we interviewed a man who drives a AC Transit bus in our community. Natalie said, “ Do you think Immigration affects our community?” Francisco said, “It effects everybody” Natalie said, “why?” Francisco said, “Well, the reason it affects everybody is because if you don’t have immigrants here then none of us are here who’s gonna drive the busses, who is gonna go to school, who is gonna clean houses, who is gonna clean the streets… you know who is gonna do the labor jobs”(Havair, Jescar). When interviewing him he made me realize that it’s true, our community wouldn’t really be anywhere without immigrants. But not only did he open my mind but it also confused me because why do they have to do all those jobs which mostly are cleaning jobs when most immigrants want an education in order to have a better jobs that lead to a better job. Another example is from the article, “Adult Education Dismantled” by Scott J. Morris which talks about not only do youth struggle with education but adults do too and how they want the opportunity to have an education. Morris sated, “Oakland’s situation is not unique; many districts have slashed adult education funding since the 2009 changes. In the first year after California allowed school districts to redirect adult education funds to K-12 programs, adult education enrollment plummeted 36 percent statewide, from 1.2 million students to fewer than 800,000” (Morris).  One phrase in this quote that stuck out to me is “Oakland’s situation is not unique” by them meaning Oakland situation of immigration and education standards dropping is nothing new. English learning and education should never be taken away or lowered because of age or money situations you might be in. This is not a unique problem so it’s been a consistent problem where adults can’t have an education in order to live better and have more opportunities open to them and their families because of being undocumented.  

Additionally,  Immigrants are not getting as much help as they should be getting for jobs, education and ect. My friend Natalie Rojas and I went to Fruitvale bart station to interview people about what they think about immigration and we interviewed a Salvadoran Women and she told us about her life experience in Oakland and what she thinks about it. She wanted to remain anonymous so we respected that. She said, “ I definitely uh…. Came from El Salvador in 1981 and my experience it has been a challenge here it’s not easy… um… For being an immigrant it’s hard because you got a… you know live with whatever uh… it’s there I mean you would do anything for survival, that’s my opinion”(Anonymous).  When hearing this come out of the womens mouth the first word that really stuck out to me was the word “Survival” and just for her to take to account that her life should be a place to survive and not live, that’s something that made me think about. If people asked an undocumented student what they were going to do after high school it would be difficult for some of them to answer because if they never had the support like a undocumented student with the Dreamers Act (Which helps undocumented students get to college.) it would be hard to say what their next step would be. Not having those opportunities they will see life as surviving and not living. Another person I interviewed was Ms. Dodds a teacher from Life Academy Health and Bioscience, she runs a nonprofit called “East Oakland Dreamers” to support undocumented high school students. I said, “How has immigration affected our community so far?”  Dodds said, “By our community what do you mean?” I said, “ Like Oakland and what we are surrounded by.” Dodds stated, “I think that, especially right now, because of, first of all like the deferred action situation that’s been really hard on a lot of people because they use to have protection and now those protections are expiring and there is not necessarily a chance to renew it so I think that’s one thing that is causing like a lot of stress especially for young people”(Dodds). Immigrants are not getting as much help as they did before in fact they are taking it away and it’s hard for undocumented students who want an education to get it because they are taking away their protection which lead to their opportunities.    

Moreover, education does change over time and how it is taught so it is the same for immigrants and their opportunities. In the article called, “Dreamers tell their stories” by HAAS JR. has a video linked to it where they interview students with the Dreamers act going to college. The Video explained, “How a mother was once having a conversation with her daughter and how her daughter explained how she wanted to go to college but  her parents were worried because of the fact that she was undocumented and how they couldn’t afford college ethier because of them working in the fields and her dad being a gardener it’s a challenge financially to get their daughter to that point. But luckily there was a program UC berkeley offered for undocumented students that helped them financially” (HAAS. JR).  This shows that immigrants now have more options and opportunities because of people reaching out about their situations like the family in video. The tones that were expressed in the film were worried toned voices because of them worried their daughter wouldn’t be able to go to college as the fact of being undocumented holding them back for their entire family but the opportunity UC berkeley gave them helped them out in all types of ways gave them hope for their daughters future.

Also, a lot of people like our president disagree with undocumented students having the opportunity to have an education in the united states. For example, in the editorial called, “Trump threatened thousands of undocumented students with decision to rescind DACA. UC Berkeley must fight back, by Opinion. Talks about how Donald Trump disagrees with undocumented students having an education. Opinion states, “President Donald Trump put Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, on the edge, and threatened thousands of undocumented students in the UC system” (Opinion). This says alot about our own president the person our state has given that responsibility to is not really helping everyone but actually taking away they main idea of a child’s life which is education no matter the age or status. He is taking that away.

Most undocumented Immigrants are not able to go to school after college because of challenges they have to face with being undocumented. When put in that situation most undocumented high schoolers tend to give up dreams or not care at all because of knowing what they will or will not face with immigration later in in their lifetime. I believe that undocumented teens should be able to get the education they came for because that was mostly why they came to the united states in the first place so they shouldn’t take that away from them. In fact, the united states is the land of opportunity there are great places to work and to have a great education which should be offered to other people too no matter the status.   

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Education and Immigration in Oakland by Leslie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Sophie 4 months ago

    Leslie,
    I agree with your points. I also like the small interviews you did. It also struck me when the anonymous person said that she is surviving. Almost like she’s not getting any benefits from living here. Which is true, because through my research, I found illegal immigrants put so much into the society through paying taxes, fueling their money into the economy through consumption, and working all the jobs that American citizens don’t wanna do themselves. Here is an article you might like: https://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=3&docId=GALE%7CA431698319&docType=Cover+story&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=&prodId=STOM&contentSet=GALE%7CA431698319&searchId=R3&userGroupName=pioneer&inPS=true&authCount=1&u=pioneer

  2. Anthony 4 months ago

    Dear Leslie,

    I am moved by your post, “Education and Immigration in Oakland,” because I also believe that these two topics are extremely important. One sentence that I agree with was, “They should have the same opportunities as if a legal student would have because they did not have a say to be undocumented so they should have a say now for their education.” because I think this should be common sense. Every student should have the same rights regardless of what their documentation status is. I also found it very powerful how you used strong statistics to showcase the severity of this issue.

    Thanks for writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next.

  3. Lilian 5 months ago

    Dear Leslie,
    I am thankful that you wrote, “Education and Immigration in Oakland” because I am undocumented too and I believe that I have the same opportunities as every American. Just because you are an immigrant doesn’t mean you can’t do what other people can. That is why I am thankful that you decided to write about this very important issue that has being going on in the world and our communities. A sentence that stood out to me was, “In fact, the united states is the land of opportunity there are great places to work and to have a great education which should be offered to other people too no matter the status.” I think this is very true because there are more opportunities here in the U.S then in your home country. This matters because everyone deserves to be treated equally and have the same opportunities as everyone no matter their status. I am very lucky to have gotten a good education and go to college because I received financial help and had the same opportunities as my classmates. Thanks for your writing. I appreciate that you focused on this topic because is something that affects a lot of people. I look forward to seeing what you write next because its going to contain more interviews from people being affected by the issue and good information for everyone to be aware.

  4. Kamron 5 months ago

    Dear leslie ,

    Thank you for sharing your work. My name is kamron and I am a student at Fremont High School.
    Something I liked about your work was how your box has things hanging from it its looks very creative
    Something I have a question about is what made you come up with hanging things from your box. Please feel free to comment on my work in the future. The address of my student blog is http://kamrondfhs2021.edublogs.org/.
    Thank You!

  5. jose 5 months ago

    Dear Leslie,
    I agree with your support to all immigrants, the things that should be done so that anyone can get their education to be a successful person in the real world. I’ve seen many graduates not go to college because of their financial status or because not being a legal citizen. The fact that many teens are brought by their parents to this country is so that they get a professional education, so that dream shouldn’t be taken away from them. Especially since their parents work really hard for them and gave them all support. They should all be given a chance to go to college if they decide to study more and get a career. We’ve all heard that phrase that everybody comes to the U.S because it’s the land of opportunities. Its surprising that many people need immigrants because we are the only ones that accept those hard working jobs for a little bit of money. All of this speaks the truth, good work leslie.

  6. Josue 5 months ago

    Leslie, this is the best article I have been reading so far! I highly agree on the two topics that matter the most, Immigration and Education. I love how every paragraph is connected to one another making your reasoning very strong. You talked about two heavy topics that are usually sensitive, but you made it very clear on what you’re purpose is.

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