A DACA Conversation

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).

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    1. Raquel gave history of US immigration & background of DACA E.O. signed by Pres. Obama in June 2012. This enabled 800,000 young people to register, 80% were from Mexico, in mostly states of CA, TX, AZ (27,865 here), but the Dream Act didn’t pass to legalize their status and that of their parents/siblings. 3 UA students spoke of their personal histories: Mira, came here from U.K. at age 5, is Indian America, a Junior in Economics; Perla from Mexico at age 3, Psychology major; and Guillermo, divorced mother brought him at age 5 from Mexico, from PCC to UA (also Psychology major), but has had mental issues/anxiety. They spoke of the lawsuits reversing DACA students having instate tuition in AZ, the possibility of a “clean” Dream Act providing safety for their families, working towards private scholarships for DACA students, sustaining the ISRC (Immigrant Student Resource Center) at UA. Raquel also provided her personal background with an undocumented grandmother in Douglas; her human rights work and their Manzo office being raided by immigration officials resulting in a lawsuit settlement in 1976. Questions from audience were how do DACA students pay for tuition; do states vary in charging instate or out of state tuition; what will happen to undocumented families in March 5, 2018; will Trump rescind his Sept. 2017 DACA rescission; educational requirements of Dream Act; what is monetary interest in kicking out or keeping DACA young people; what can people do to help DACA students, lobby for which Senate bills, how help ISRC office continue, and how help create private scholarships for DACA students at UA. About 40 people in attendance tonight, including former PCC Governing Bd. member Marty Cortez. National Day of DACA Action coming up on Nov. 9th.

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