Pueblo Takes Action After DACA Repeal

by Laura Conde

On Sept. 5, 2017, President Trump decided to end the DACA program, otherwise known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA allowed many undocumented immigrants to work and live in the US – and his latest decision puts approximately 800,000 immigrants in danger of deportation. This decision caused an uproar all across the country, including at Pueblo.

A day after the DACA decision, Culturally Relevant teachers came together and hosted a DACA- themed workshop to further inform the Pueblo community, offer resources, and potentially make this situation more bearable.

During the workshop, participating students were guided through research activities, along with analyzation and discussion of the actual repeal decision.

The workshop provided a very accepting environment could voice their opinions.

The following quotes are from DACA students who have chosen to remain anonymous.

“It’s great [DACA workshop], it gives people an opportunity to become aware, people may know about it, but not exactly.”

Another student said, “I’m glad we’re having this [DACA workshop], students need to be educated, sometimes adults aren’t even aware of this topic.”

“I think it’s depressing, some of them [dreamers] came here as children, sending them to places they don’t know is cruel,”

“It doesn’t make sense, people come here for opportunities, if they don’t get any, what’s the point?”

“Students need to have a voice, human rights aren’t illegal, they just are.”

DACA will be phased out with an official decision from Congress in six months. As of now, no further DACA applications will be accepted and after Oct. 5, 2017 initial and renewal applications will be disregarded.

Aside from this, numerous resources exist to help the community express themselves and support this struggle.

A few options include, (1) Text “Resist” to 504-09, a “Resist-bot” can formulate your concerns and send a letter to the members of Congress. (2) A direct call to local officials can make an immense difference, Jeff Flake: (520) 575-8633, John McCain: (520) 670-6334, and Raul Grijalva: (520) 622-6788
“I think DACA activities teach students to be aware of their rights,” said Mendibles-Muñoz. “They become advocates and develop a network they can fall back on for support.”

Pueblo Community Speaks Out About Trump Victory

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Compiled by Paula Fierros

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Elianna Martinez, senior:  “With a Trump presidency, our kids in this nation will learn his foul ways that truly hurt inside. A president isn’t supposed to make you afraid of the world; a president is supposed to bring us together.”

Bianca Valenzuela, senior: “I feel those who voted for Trump have brains that cannot comprehend intelligence.”

Alisa Gutierrez, senior: “Not only is Trump racist, he is also homophobic. All of the progress that America has made in social issues in the past eight years, including legalizing same-sex marriages, are now being jeopardized. We’re all doomed. Nobody is safe.”

Keila Robles, freshman: “I’m worried for all of the illegal immigrants in this country who have been threatened to be deported by Trump. This will divide many families in this nation.”

Mr. Steve Lopez, math teacher: “A Trump presidency means that things should be different. We’ll see what he does in office. When Hillary Clinton was in office, she didn’t make much of a difference.”

Mr. Patrick Peatrowsky, economics teacher: “The people have spoken. There is a group of people that we didn’t know existed. I hope for the best. There’s only one president, and we are only one nation.”

Shadie Grajeda, senior: “We Americans can either move forward or stay stuck and bitter.”

Ms. Sarah Sutton, drama/theater teacher: “The election results do not mean a whole lot to me. I still believe that women’s rights are human rights. I still believe that my LGBT brothers and sisters have a human right to love whoever they wish and moreover, that it is not my permission to give. I still believe that ‘All Lives Matter’ cannot happen unless we acknowledge that black lives matter. No results can take my opinions from me. I am an advocate and will continue to be one.”

Estevan Alvarez, senior: “If anyone were to ask me if I think that America is more or less racist than in the past, I would say, ‘Just look at Donald Trump and this election.’”

Maximiliano Roman, senior: “The Trump presidency means the following to me: Hell. Stupidity. The next four years will be a waste of time. America will move backwards and go back on the principals in which it was founded.”

Mr. William Richards, magnet program coordinator: “Our options for this presidency have forced the realization that our education system is broken in this country, until it is improved and  Americans can see through social media, rants, political correctness and political parties to the real issues we are stuck in a superficial landscape with no true options for triumph.”

Brianna Metzler, junior: “I equate a Trump presidency to doom and devastation. Throughout his campaign, Trump’s slogan was: ‘Make America Great Again’. However, it should be more like: ‘Make America Hate Again’.”

Cristian Carrillo, junior: “I can’t trust a man like Trump. He is a complete idiot. I’m totally surprised and appalled that he has become the 45th president. We can still hope for a future impeachment. Anyone who makes fun of the disabled should automatically be disqualified as a presidential candidate.”

Dr. Raul Gonzalez, social studies teacher: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel—and that is the 2018 election.”

Britsy Lozolla, freshman: “I think that it’s a sad day. After all of the inappropriate things that came out of his mouth, Americans still voted for him—which says to me that people are insensitive to others.”

Kanani Salazar, junior: “I think it’s a good thing that Trump won because Hillary Clinton wants to let in more Muslims, and it only took a few to take down the Twin Towers in 2001.”

Ms. Karen Rimmell, English teacher: “A Trump presidency means the gains that we have made in civil rights for all people are in danger.”

Ashley Cordova, junior: “The election results didn’t bother me too much because both candidates had ideas that everybody disagreed on.”

Mr. John Contreras, Mariachi Aztlán teacher: “This election decision was an eye-opener. It showed that the U.S. was able to overlook the fact that a candidate who ridiculed minorities, made rash and crude decisions, was full of hyperbole and hate speech, enticed and collaborated with foreign/enemy countries to interfere with our political system and treated women as sub-humans, all the while turning this election cycle into a ‘made for TV side show’, and elect him to the highest possible office of the land.”

Marissa Salinas, senior: “I don’t really think that it’s the end of the world.”

Sophia Shivers, freshman: “I feel that a Trump presidency will be a complete disaster. Even though he hasn’t been inaugurated, it feels like the end of the world.”

Andy Garcia, junior: “I’m very worried about the country’s and the world’s future.”

Ms. Jaylyn Wheatley, social studies teacher: “It’s eye-opening to see how much of the country accepts somebody who uses such hateful language.”

Corina Ballesteros, senior: “I’m not as appalled at Trump himself and his victory but rather the more than 50 million Americans who voted for him. Obviously, these voters are close-minded. It bothers me that we have so many people in this country who support a man who is ignorant and childish.”

Ms. Josephine Rincon, social studies teacher: “America’s selection has put fear especially into children, making them and their families feel targeted.” She paused and said, “I’m mourning our democracy.”

Mr. Rodrigo Cardenas, campus monitor: “Although I may not agree with outcome, I feel happy that Americans can choose who they want to become president. Freedom prevails.”

Summer Romero, junior: “Not everything that Trump has said is a bad idea. For example, I like his business sense which could be good for the country’s economy.”

Ms. Wilma Amaro, science teacher: “Life is not reality T.V.”

Gerardo Daniel Torres, senior: “Some children might be separated from their families when Trump becomes President next year. I am worried about my own family members.”

Mr. Gene Balsz, exceptional education teacher: “Bow down before the one you serve; you’re going to get what you deserve.” [From Head Like a Hole by Trent Reznor]

Carolina Korovokina, senior: “I don’t think it’s fair [that Trump won the election] because he hasn’t shown any political experience. Whenever he is asked questions, all he ends up doing is offending people.”

Alexander Ross, senior: “I’m not happy [about Trump winning the election]. We need to reassess if Trump does something stupid.”

Laura Conde, sophomore: “I’m so shocked that Trump won the election! I means that this country is going to experience more sexism. Hispanics have gone from high to low.”

Mr. Rana K. Medhi, journalism teacher: “Driving to work on Wednesday morning [the day after the election results], I felt almost the same sense of doom and frustration as the morning of 9/11 back in 2001—almost as if I were driving into another tunnel of thick fog. Somehow the country needs to find a way to the other side. Again.”

Mr. Iram Arce, junior: “Anyone who can’t handle a Twitter account shouldn’t be able to handle the country’s nuclear launch codes.”

Aliah Luna, junior: “I don’t think that it’s fair that somebody with absolutely zilch political experience or expertize should be allowed to even be considered to be America’s leader. Why should I earn and pay for a college degree in which I have no investment for in my future? Therefore, why should any politician buy his way into an American political campaign without knowing the backbone of politics.”

Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, English teacher: “[Following the Trump victory], be brave. Stay strong. Consume less. Talk louder. Educate yourself and those around you.”

Javier Menchaca, junior: “Not much will change in America with a Trump presidency. Actually, he has very little power.”

Victor Garcia, senior: “I voted for the first time on Election Day. I am very disappointed in our country’s choice for the next president. I feel that he is going to divide our nation even more than it already was.”

Genesis Alba, freshman: “No matter who won the election on Tuesday, America is doomed.”

Ms. Claire Brock, English teacher: “It means we need to step up in taking care of each other and protecting each other. Mass solidarity and struggle is the only way up. And education is your weapon, students, so please use it.”

Yoel Baca, sophomore: “There is no such thing as making America great again.”

Daniel Escobar, senior: “We’re screwed.”

Ms. Jeanette Rupel, English teacher: “A Trump presidency means that we have to stay vigilant and involved in politics, monitoring our federal, state, and local legislations. It means my job is crucial—tteaching students to read literature to develop empathy and multiple view points; to write to give them eloquent, persuasive voices; to research facts to develop strong arguments based on logical and reason; and to persevere through all types of challenges. I will empower, encourage, teach. We are equal and will not go gentle into that good night. We will rise, like dust, moons, suns, and air.

Ms. Kelly Crane, English teacher: “[Trump’s victory] makes me feel physically ill.”

Ms. Bonnie Stull, early childhood teacher: “My head hurts. Trump’s only one person. Pence scares me more.”

Ms. Rhesa Olsen, math teacher: “I moved to Tucson from Indianapolis/Carmel, Indiana. [Vice-President-elect] Pence is from Zionsville, which is just a short driving distance away from Carmel.  When he ran for governor, I did not vote for him because of his discriminatory views he tried to tie into his being a Christian.  My view of being a Christian is that we are to treat others as we would like to be treated. So, I am even more upset that Donald Trump won the electoral votes in the presidential race because I don’t like either man philosophically. The election is what it is, and all I can do now is move forward and hope that those who won realize that more people actually voted against them than for them. Perhaps this will enable the new officeholders to remember that what makes America great our diversity, that the poor and middle class deserve the same opportunities as the wealthy, that not everyone should have assault rifles, and since we all share this same planet, that we should do what is necessary to help protect it. Hopefully, they will have also learned that everything they have said and done has been recorded.”

Students Register To Vote In November 2016 Election

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By Lauren Ahern

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016 and Thursday, Oct. 6, Pima County  Voter Registrars donated their time to encourage students and members of the Pueblo community (including all teachers and staff as well as students’ parents and relatives) to register to vote in order to cast their ballots on Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 8. Students must be at least 18 years old by Nov. 1 to be eligible to vote in this year’s election.

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Ms. Cheri Bludau, a volunteer voter registrar, has been going to other high schools in the Tucson area, including Santa Rita, Palo Verde and Catalina, to encourage students and their schools’ communities to register to vote. There is a competition among the four schools to get the highest number of registered voters, and at last count on Thursday afternoon, Pueblo was far in the lead.

“I think it’s very important for our young people to become involved in the political process,” Bludau said. “After all, they are the future America, and they need to be aware of the policies that shape their state and their country now—and to decide whether or not to make changes to their state and their country.”

Ms. Mary Wallace, social studies and economics teacher, organized this event.

“This [voter registration] is real,” Wallace said. “It doesn’t make much sense to teach government and economics to students without putting some ‘real world’ activities and engagement out there for our students.”

One student who registered, “Dioney Corona, a senior, said, “I can’t wait to vote on November eighth. I am going to do my part to ensure that Trump doesn’t even come close to becoming the next president of the United States.”

Wallace added that—along with support from other teachers—she will stage a “mock” election for all students on Election Day, Nov. 8. More details will be given about this event in the near future.

“I’m proud of the number of students and adults who registered to vote the last few days,” Wallace said, “although I always wish that the numbers could be higher.”