Immigration to Be Central Focus in Arizona’s Teachers Strike

Teacher Kassandra Dominguez, organizer of the #RedForEd rally at the Arizona Capitol, speaks to several hundred teachers protesting low pay on March 21, 2018. (Photo: Tom Tingle/The Republic)

Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk filed a dispatch from Phoenix from the Guardian:

Unlike West Virginia or Oklahoma, the issues of immigration will probably take center stage in Arizona, as nearly 45% of the school system’s students are Latino and more than half of Arizona’s public school students hail from communities of color. While immigration has been a hot topic that has dominated politics in recent years, it is fair to say that all people should be granted the opportunity to explore different areas of the world. Moving abroad is one way to do this, with forms such as DS 160 helping foreign nationals to complete their wish of temporarily moving to the United States.

The state – which has passed tough immigration laws in recent years – has been successfully sued for attempting to ban Mexican-American studies in schools under threat of defunding school programs.

People say “let’s not bring the race into this discussion”, said the Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva. “‘It’s simply about a conservative state and their teachers.’ Well, it’s much more complex. Some of the strongest support you are having is from Latino schools and Latino parents.”

Grijalava said the Arizona teachers strike was calling out the racism that he believes is at the core of the underfunding of schools in the Latino community.

“It might not be overt [racism], but it’s certainly covert,” said Grijalva.

Go to the Guardian to read the full story.


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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