October 15, 2020
We looked into the reading by Michael L. Sulkowski called, Unauthorized immigrant students in the United States: The current state of affairs and the role of public education. In this reading, the first thing that he talked about was the phenomenology of undocumented immigration. As of recent times, about 5.3 million children living in the United States are undocumented, meaning that they are not officially recognized as citizens, or have at least one parent who is undocumented. At least 775,000 of these children do not have citizenship status, refugee status, permanent resident status, or any other form of temporary residency status for the purpose of work, education, etc. Approximately 4.5 million children in the United States are at risk of losing at least one parent to deportation or detainment by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, which is also known as ICE. Some of the reasons for immigrating to the United States include but are not limited to seeking a better life, education, medical care, etc for oneself and one’s family; escape from conflict and warfare. Currently, half of these individuals and families hail from Mexico and are attempting to cross the United States/ Mexico border. Also, many others come from Central American nations. A significant number of immigrants living in the United States become unauthorized when their visas expire or are left unrenewed. Families are often forced to flee their homelands due to violence or dangerous circumstances. Parents are willing to endure the challenges of immigration for the sake of their children.
The next thing that Sulkowski talked about is Deportation. Deportation rates have increased during the Bush and Obama administrations, and the Trump administration made efforts to accelerate this process. The majority of deported immigrants were not criminal offenders. The United States deportation processes are cited as disproportionately targeting undocumented working-age Latino males and families, arguably due to bias and discrimination. They mentioned the impact of current practices on youth. “Higher risk of parental loss, greater disruptions in psychosocial functioning, increased risk for mental health problems, and more significant problems in academic performance when compared to their peers” (Sulkowski, p 64). This increased the risk of victimization and bullying by their peers due to their race, religion, or socioeconomic status. CHildren with at least one unauthorized parent can miss out on between 1.25 and 1.5 years of overall K-12 school attendance (Sulkowski, p 64).
This reading really did open my eyes to this problem that is happening in the world we live in today. I want to emphasize something that we talked about in our discussion during our learning experience. One of the discussion questions in the slide show was “Do you think that it is right to separate a child from their mother or father because they are undocumented immigrants? Explain why”. I brought up a very good point of trying to put ourselves in their shoes. I first just simply started by thinking about how I would feel if my mom or dad was suddenly ripped from my home. I could not even imagine how I would feel as a child. I first of all would have no idea why my mom or dad was being taken away from me and I also wouldn’t understand where they are being taken. I then was thinking about the effect it would have on me as a child. I relied on my parents so much when I was growing up and I learned so much from them. I believe that children need parental support and guidance to help you through life. I know if I didn’t grow up with any guidance, I would have done whatever I wanted as a child and by doing that I would not end up where I am today.
Our learning circle choose to focus on having everyone express their opinions of undocumented immigrants and deporting immigrants. For our learning experience, we first chose to have a few slides that went over a summary of the reading. We did this incase someone did not understand the reading, so this gave them a chance to understand the reading better so we could create better discussions. I think that this worked very well because if people were confused, this helped them be able to participate in the discussion. The next thing that we did was we broke into breakout rooms and there were five discussion questions that each group had to answer. In these groups they were creating a discussion by answering these questions. Once the questions were completed, we came back into the main room and had a whole class discussion on these questions. Each group discussed one question and people made comments on their opinions. I believe that our discussion was very productive and we really dove into the impart that deportation of parents can do to these children.
My contributions to the design of the learning experience was that I came up with a discussion question for the whole class to answer. I also designed the answer slides for each group to put their answers on. This may seem simple but I spent some time thinking about the most efficient way to have the groups answer these questions while also thinking about making it easy for them to understand. My responsibilities during the learning experience was to read one of the summary slides to get the information across to the class. I then explained to the class what our learning experience was and what they were to do in their breakout rooms. Once we were in the breakout rooms, I helped guide our group’s discussion to make sure that we stayed on track. If they were ever stuck on a question I would guide them to help them understand the question more. I think overall that our learning experience went very well and it was a productive discussion.
Reading for the week: