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
A protege of the late Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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