En junio, la administración Obama implantó el programa Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (conocido como DACA, por sus siglas en inglés), el cual les da a ciertos menores indocumentados la oportunidad de obtener protección contra la deportación y un permiso de dos años para trabajar en Estados Unidos. Ahora, la organización JUNTOS (que respalda y alienta a los inmigrantes en Filadelfia) está ayudando a los estudiantes a obtener estatus de Deferred Action (acción diferida).
In June the Obama administration implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, giving certain undocumented youth a chance to receive deportation protection and a two-year U.S. work permit. Now, JUNTOS, a community organization that supports and encourages immigrants in Philadelphia, is helping students to obtain Deferred Action status.
"AAU! How y'all feelin?" shouted student teacher Wei Chen.
"Fantastic! Terrific! Great! All Day Long!" his students respond.
by Willie Colon
The School District announced plans in the spring to consolidate its Newcomer Learning Academies (NLAs) at one site at Benjamin Franklin High School. But there was still community skepticism about the basic premise of the program: Some wondered whether it was wise to segregate and potentially isolate newly arrived immigrant students.
Undocumented immigrant students face a number of significant obstacles on the path to college. The College Board is seeking to make that process a little easier with its recently released resource guide for undocumented students planning for college.
The resource guide was released just weeks before President Obama issued an executive order that will enable undocumented youth to delay deportation and apply for work permits.
Although the School District has signaled its intent to hold the line on further cuts to English language learner instruction and services, this school year’s budgetary upheavals have taken a toll on the system’s programs for ELL students and families.
The year started with significant cuts to ELL instruction and supports – cuts that were mitigated by varying degrees as the year progressed, according to information provided by Lucy Feria, deputy chief for multilingual programs, and a Notebook analysis of District budget documents.
Sentado en una mesa de la cafetería en el Community College of Philadelphia, Cheick Kante no hace ningún esfuerzo por ocultar su frustración.
"A veces quisiera no haberme mudado acá nunca", dice Kante, un alto joven de 22 años que está estudiando una carrera en sistemas de información en el CCP. "Nunca pensé que sería así".
At a School Reform Commission meeting Monday night, officials said they would do their best to avoid further cuts in programs for the District's 13,000 English language learners.
By devoting an entire two-hour meeting to the topic, the SRC signaled its commitment to prioritize this large but often-neglected segment of the District's population.
But officials also acknowledged that teacher layoffs and other budget-related decisions have taken a toll on these programs over the years.
Sitting at a table in the cafeteria at the Community College of Philadelphia, Cheick Kante makes no effort to hide his frustration.
"Sometimes I wish I'd never come here," says Kante, 22, a towering man who is studying computer information systems at CCP. "I never knew it would be like this."
A few hours later and a brisk walk away, Mohamed Kakay is a study in confidence as he chats in Starbucks at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a graduate student in global studies. "I've had to work twice as hard," says Kakay, also 22. "But the resources are there for immigrant students."
For immigrant students interested in higher education, here are some resources:
Philadelphia Education Fund
College Access Program
Kimberly Stephens, director
215-665-1400, ext. 3316
College Access Centers
4548 Market St., 215-476-2227
Gallery, 9th & Market, 215-574-1341