06-24-2018  3:49 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.People gathered for a Sunday afternoon protest at a police station and a vigil near the north Minneapolis shooting scene...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US restaurants host refugee chefs who offer a taste of home

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — At San Francisco's Tawla restaurant, Muna Anaee powdered her hands with flour and...

UK euroskeptics urge PM May to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

LONDON (AP) — Pro-Brexit politicians and business figures have urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to...

Roseanne Barr in interview: 'I made myself a hate magnet'

NEW YORK (AP) — In an emotional interview, Roseanne Barr said she definitely feels remorse for the racist...

Switzerland awaits FIFA judgment on 'provocative' gestures

MOSCOW (AP) — Despite goal celebrations seen as inflaming political tensions with Serbia, the head of...

Sweden player condemns racist abuse after World Cup loss

KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) — Sweden midfielder Jimmy Durmaz says the racist abuse aimed at him over social...

DJ Calvin Harris stoked by Harry Kane nod to 'One Kiss'

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Harry Kane led England into the round of 16 at the World Cup then gave a nod...

Valeria Fern

PHOENIX -- Anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona is creating hurdles for undocumented youth wishing to enroll in the new federal "deferred action" program announced by the Obama Administration last June, that would defer deportation for certain undocumented immigrants and allow them to obtain work permits for a renewable period of two years.

To qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), applicants need to have been younger than 16-years-old when they entered the country illegally. They must also meet other criteria, such as being enrolled in high school or having earned a diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate, and an absence of certain criminal convictions.

But in Arizona, a state law – Proposition 300 -- approved by voters in 2006, bars state-funded schools from offering free GED classes to undocumented immigrants, making the path to DACA eligibility difficult for those who may have aged out of the high school system but still wish to become eligible for the new federal program.

Complicating matters further was Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer's executive order last Wednesday that bans access to driver licenses and public benefits for immigrants participating in DACA.

Advocacy groups like the Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC), however, are now scrambling to shatter the myth that Proposition 300 removes their right to take the GED exam altogether. Rather, say advocates, it merely bars them from taking GED classes at state institutions.

One alternative, said Dulce Matuz, chairperson of ADAC, is to enroll in GED classes offered for a fee by private institutions.

"Don't be confused, if you can't take classes that doesn't mean you can't take the exam," said Matuz, also one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Although one need not be a legal resident to take the GED exam, test-takers are required to present two forms of identification, which also poses a problem for undocumented youth.

Carmen Cornejo, an advocate at ADAC, said she's been flooded with phone-calls from students who tried to take the GED exam but were turned away because they didn't own a state issued ID. Cornejo said she has been encouraging those students to insist on taking the test, given they can provide a passport or matriculation card.

For undocumented students who need to take the GED exam but can't afford to pay for private classes, there are several other options.

Non-profits like Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) offer free classes through the Workforce Development Center in West Phoenix twice a week, and do not require the presentation of legal documents.

At least 75 percent of the calls the workforce center is currently receiving come from students trying to find out how they can take the GED classes. Demand for the classes, said those at the center, has already outweighed capacity.

"We have a waiting list of at least 30 youth that are asking for our support (to take the classes) since President Obama made his announcement," said Maria Jesus Cervantes, a spokesperson for CPLC.

In response to the higher demand, CPLC will be expanding the number of classes they offer, said Cervantes.

Since community colleges and other learning institutions are barred from offering the GED classes for free because they receive funding from the state, some schools, like Rio Salado Community College, have found a way to circumvent the state law by offering 14-week GED courses online for $90.

"You have to be able to show (a state-issued ID card) in order to take a class in person," said Tom Gariepy, a spokesperson for Maricopa County Community Colleges. "(But online), because you pay for it, there's no requirement to show legal presence."

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are roughly 1.76 million youth eligible for DACA nationally, and about 500 thousand of those are younger than 15-years-old. MPI estimates that 350 thousand of all who qualify for the benefit have neither a high school diploma, nor are enrolled in school.

In Arizona, an estimated 80 thousand kids could benefit from DACA. There's no data on how many of those are currently in high school or have received a diploma.

Advocates like Matuz emphasize that deferred action is one positive step forward, but undocumented youth should continue to fight for the end goal -- legislation like the Dream Act, that could lead to permanent legal status.

"We can't get distracted from our goal," said Matuz. "We need more youth to join the movement and find out what we can do to get a permanent solution."

Immigrant rights activists and attorneys from the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Arizona say that with DACA firmly in place for the foreseeable future, Dreamers should not be rushing to file their applications; rather, they should be taking their time to make sure they get it right.

"There's no expiration for [DACA] right now," said Cornejo.

The silver lining for many students in Arizona is that once they obtain their GED, if they qualify for DACA, getting a college education may become more affordable.

Even though a separate provision of Proposition 300 – the same state law that prohibits undocumented youth from enrolling in free GED courses -- requires undocumented students to pay out-of-state tuition for their education (regardless of how long they lived in Arizona), Obama's plan would allow those same youth to get a work permit and obtain temporary but renewable legal residency, meaning they would be eligible to pay in-state tuition at Arizona universities, after all.

If a student presents a legal work permit and can prove they've been residing in the state for at least one year, said Gariepy, they would technically qualify to pay the in-state-tuition rate.

Governor Brewer's executive order does not specifically mention tuition costs for undocumented students, and immigration attorneys disagree as to whether or not the DACA work permit would allow those students to qualify for in-state tuition.

"Students need to be proactively looking for the information (on how to prepare for the GED). It's time worth investing," said Cornejo. "This is a good step, for the student to start with the GED so they can follow that with a college education and (meet) qualifications for a future immigration process."

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