By MELINA CASILLAS and NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
Ana, a student at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, came to the United States when she was 2.
She came with her parents and brother, because her parents thought it was the best thing to do for their children.
“It’s not like Mexico had a bad life for us, it’s just there was more opportunity,” Ana said. “Not only economic rights, but education rights for my brother and I.”
Ana, who asked that her last name not be used, works with the UA Immigration Student Resource Center to create a safe environment for those in the same situation.
“I think that it’s crazy, and as dumb as it is, it also strikes fear,” she said. “Not only in yourself but in the family and your community, and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly referred to as DACA, is an executive order signed by President Obama in June 2012.
The policy allows undocumented immigrants who migrated to the United States before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to be eligible for work permits and protection from deportation for two years, with a renewable application.
Students who take advantage of the policy are referred to as Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAMers.
Those who are eligible pay a $495 fee, an increase from $465 as of December 2016. DACA students must also provide fingerprints and other biometrics for an $85 fee and prove they have not had any criminal convictions.
As of September 2016, over 800,000 DACA applicants have been accepted nationally. Nearly 4,000 of those reside in Pima County, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
The DREAMers were fearful before Obama’s executive order in 2012. The order allowed them to step out of the shadows to continue their education and build a better life in the ‘land of opportunity.’
However, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer began erecting barriers for DACA students as soon as the policy took affect.
Brewer issued a state executive order to deny the DREAMers driver’s licenses they were eligible for in 2012.
In December 2014, U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell overturned Brewer’s order, allowing DREAMers to receive their licenses.
Before that, Proposition 300 was passed in 2006. It made undocumented immigrants ineligible for in-state tuition. Children who had grown up in Arizona most of their lives were now required to pay out-of- state tuition.
Maricopa County Community College District challenged this; allowing in-state tuition to DREAMers. Former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne took the district to superior court. The court ruled in the college’s favor.
As of Jan. 10, current Attorney General Mark Brnovich has begun the appeal process to block DREAMers from receiving in-state tuition once again.
DACA students at PCC currently receive in-state tuition according to PCC’s website.
After a ruling by Federal Judge Arthur Anderson in 2015, all three state universities have been required to offer in-state tuition for these students.
While DACA students pay in-state tuition they are not eligible for any federal aid, including FAFSA.
UNCERTAIN POLITICAL CLIMATE
Now that Donald Trump is president,uncertainty fills the air for the DREAMers and all undocumented immigrants alike.
In a press conference, Trump said “DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, because you have these incredible kids, in many cases not in all cases.” He also said he will deal with DACA “with heart.”
However, on Feb. 10, DREAMer Daniel Ramirez Medina was arrested in Seattle.
According to the Los Angeles Times, immigration officials say that Ramirez was a “self-admitted gang member” and arrested him for safety reasons.
Ramirez’s attorney disputed that saying he’d never been convicted of a crime and that he was pressed by immigration officers to falsely admit to the accusations.
Protests around Washington State have already begun in solidarity with Ramirez.
Locally, organizations like the University of Arizona’s International Student
Resource Center, are working to protect the rights of DACA students by supplying training to staff.
ISRC also speaks to the Arizona Board of Regents about making the college a sanctuary zone.
ISRC is also working with a Barrett Honors College student to create an app to alert students of where Border Patrol or other officers are seen around the Tucson area.
Advocacy groups like Scholarships A-Z are also helping DACA students, providing them with assistance in finding private scholarships for school and other immigration resources.
Many volunteers for Scholarships A-Z are also DACA students.
COLLEGE OFFERS HOPE
Although the situation is grim, there are helping hands at many institutions, though some are safer than others. That is evident in letters sent out after the proposal to end the DACA program by the Trump administration.
Chancellor Lee Lambert put out a statement Jan. 30, saying, “The College is reviewing action we could take to ensure students and employees feel secure, respected and supported.”
Pima does stand behind their employees; the email also lists links to help, and others to make an informed decision.
Ann Weaver Hart, president of UA, put out a statement, Nov. 24, 2016. With only 70 DACA students, they represent less than one percent of the student population.
“The UA statement publicly stakes out our position on protecting DACA student information,” she said.
“Providing advice and counsel for those students and ensuring any educational aspiration underway at the UA can be successfully completed regardless of events.”
Although the university had good intentions, many DACA students did not think the letter was clear enough on how it would protect them.
“President Hart, who’s president here at the UA, said she would protect DACA students in all her abilities,” Ana said.
“However coming together with other DACA students we thought it was vague, it didn’t really say anything or like actions to protect.”
A student at the UA felt so unsafe that he transferred to Pima.
“One DACA student left UA to transfer to Pima, because there are more opportunities there and it’s a safer environment,” Ana said.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
As a student at both Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, I have driven to many campuses and parked in many different lots and garages.
Here are a few hard-earned tips that could make your life easier:
First, don’t expect your usual spot to be open. You probably have a preferred parking space, but it won’t always be available. Be prepared to park far away from your destination. A little exercise won’t hurt.
Also, expect your vehicle to receive dings and dents. I have been victim to a few hit and runs, but fortunately they were very minor. To reduce the possibility of vehicle damage, strive to park as perfectly as possible. Perpetrators are almost never caught.
Next, leave early. If you can’t find a spot at your first choice, you’ll have time to park somewhere else.
Not allowing enough time causes stress and guarantees you’ll be late to class. Besides, you never know when you’ll encounter an accident or traffic.
Please fix your parking. OK, that’s not a tip, it’s a demand.
If you take up two spots, shame on you. Don’t be embarrassed to fix your parking job. Nobody is judging, unless you block a perfectly fine spot.
For UA, if you live nearby I highly advise you to take public transportation or purchase a parking permit. Public transportation is cheaper but a permit saves you time.
UA offers no free parking during the school week. However, some lots are free after 6 p.m. and garages are free after midnight.
If you are parked in a garage and will be out late, a nap in your car could save you some cash.
If you attend a sporting event, park far away from the arena. Traffic is especially hectic after football and basketball games. The farther away you park, the easier it is to avoid postgame traffic. Again, a little exercise is good for you.
Following these tips will help all of us reduce parking lot stress.
By MIKI JENNINGS
I’ve spent four semesters on staff at the Aztec Press, working in different capacities: as a reporter, covering our social media posts for a semester and overseeing the Arts and Entertainment section for the last two semesters.
I’ve helped newbie reporters get started and find their footing, and I feel confident about what I do. I was starting to really feel like I had succeeded at carving out a name for myself at this school, or at least the school’s newspaper.
It’s time for me to move on and finally finish up my degree at the University of Arizona. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time in my schedule to be a student at both schools, as much as I would love to juggle UA classes and staying on staff.
Really, I just don’t want to leave. I’m going to miss it a lot. It’s difficult for me to quantify the skills and experience I’ve gained in the two years spent here. I know that I’ll find a place wherever I go, but I’m just not eager to go.
I’ve worked with many talented and motivated aspiring journalists and I’m really sad about leaving our small-but-mighty staff behind. The support and helpful, constructive critiques here are unmatched by any other journalistic ventures.
And no other publication could possibly be as fun, right?
Well, possibly not. But I still have to move on. It’s time to go somewhere new and see what a different publication has to offer: perhaps daily stresses versus weekly ones, new events to cover, maybe even with pay … if I’m lucky.
It’s important to keep an open mind when you’re heading in a strange direction. Otherwise, how else will you glean wisdom from the new situation? That’s even harder to remember when you didn’t want to head in that direction in the first place.
Really, I would stay on staff here forever if it wouldn’t make me look like a creepy college graduate who just couldn’t move on.
But new opportunities aside, I’m really going to miss it.
Jennings, 22, is a journalism major. She plans to hide out in the Aztec Press newsroom during all of her spare time.
By ERIC TOWNSEND
In his second year as the University of Arizona men’s basketball head coach, Sean Miller faces the daunting task of returning the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament during another down year for the Pacific-10 Conference.
Miller finished his first Wildcat season with a 16-15 overall record. That’s impressive, given the unpleasant circumstances he inherited.
Last season will mostly be remembered as the year UA failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament, breaking the school’s remarkable 25-year streak started by legendary coach Lute Olson.
Miller had just one returning senior, point guard Nic Wise, and sometimes played five freshmen on the court last year. Nevertheless, his team provided some big-time play.
Notable wins: beating UCLA twice, beating Arizona State University by 19 in Tempe and beating the University of California at home when Cal was ranked in the Top 25.
Year Two seems much more promising, as UA returns a very good group. Many fans believe Miller has succeeded in quickly turning the Wildcats around.
Team play will be lead by sophomore forward Derrick Williams, the leading candidate for Pac-10 Player of the Year.
The key question is how much the other Wildcats improved during the offseason. For the team to excel, every player to step it up.
Additional questions surround this young team.
Who can step in at point guard to replace Wise? Early indications show the Wildcats should be fine with sophomore Lamont “MoMo” Jones running the point, and freshman Jordin Mayes spelling him.
What about the post game? Yes, the Wildcats excelled last year with Williams playing at center, but they need other big bodies.
Expectations are high for sophomore center Kyryl Natyazkho, who spent the summer in Croatia playing for the Ukraine national team. Natyazkho led Ukraine to an eighth-place finish at the Under-20 European championships.
Natyazkho, who averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds in Croatia, finished in the tournament top 5 in nearly every major statistical category. Many hope his improved play and confidence translate well at UA.
It’s uncertain whether the Wildcats will return to the “Big Dance” this year, but some things seem assured. Talent and experience levels are higher, and returning players have had a full year in Miller’s system. The team should gel better this year.
Looking ahead, the 2011 recruiting class features three Top-100 recruits in Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson.
Miller has the program heading in the right direction, and fast.
Record prediction: 22-11. UA opens the season Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. when they host Idaho State University.
By James Kelley
Photo by Daniel Gaona
The Pima Community College basketball teams capped their landmark season on March 31, as the Aztecs extended the University of Arizona basketball teams’ misery.
The Pima men’s team beat the UA men and the PCC women beat the Arizona ladies in a charity game held to benefit victims of the Arizona state budget cuts. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word “ARIZONA” to 90999.
The doubleheader, even though the games started at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate the UA’s “experienced” fans, set a state record for a attendance for a charity game with 1,533.
The Aztec men built an early lead and cruised to a 98-87 win over the Wildcats. The loss is especially disappointing for the UA as they pushed for the game after not getting invited to the Not Invited Tournament or NIT.
“Hey, it could be worse, we could have lost to Jacksonville, at home, as a No. 1 seed,” said UA men’s head coach Sean Miller, referencing Arizona State’s embarrassing NIT loss. “I mean seriously, who even knew they had a team or a University?”
Aztec sophomore forward Travares Peterson scored a game-high 23 points, while Pima sophomore guards Warren Baker and Jeremy Harden scored 20 and 19 points, respectively.
“It’s a great win for Pima and it showed Tucson basketball didn’t go anywhere this year,” Peterson said.
Wildcat freshman forward Derrick Williams scored 20 to go with 12 rebounds, but was only 4-16 from the free throw stripe. Senior guard Nic Wise scored 17 points and dished 11 assists.
Arizona pulled to within six points with 5:34 to go, but then UA junior forward Jamelle Horne mistakenly dunked on the wrong basket, the Pacific-10 referees erroneously gave Pima the ball and then Miller received a technical foul. That series of plays ended the game quicker than the Kansas City Royals are out of contention.
Horne was not made available for comment after the game, instead the UA sent out freshman walk on Max Wiepking.
“Horney has the worst luck,” Wiepking said. “First he had that foul last year against UAB, repeated it at USC, then he picked Kansas to go all the way and now this.”
The women’s game lacked excitement as Pima cruised to a 56-41 win, even without injured star sophomore Abyee Maracigan. In fact, the Aztecs played much of the game with only four players to make the game more even.
PCC sophomore center Tia Morrison had a game-high 31 points and 19 rebounds. Pima sophomore and freshman guards Nene Villalobos and Patricia Ramos scored 12 points each.
“It was a good win for us,” Morrison said. “It was awesome to be out there with the girls one last time before the home crowd and you always want to win, whether it is South Central Arizona or Arizona Arizona.”
UA freshman guard Davellyn Whyte led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points and UA junior forward Ify Ibekwe added 20.
“It was a great win for Pima, it shows we are the Real Deal,” said Pima women’s head coach Todd Holthaus. “The girls went out there and gave it their all and we came out on top.”
slated March 25
Pima Community College student Liza Porter will receive the Mary Ann Campau Memorial Fellowship award and read some of her work on March 25 at 8 p.m. at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St.
Porter, an editor for Aztec Press, is the founding director of the Other Voices Women’s Reading Series at Antigone Books.
Her work has appeared in AGNI, Borrow Street, Diner, HotelAmerika, Slipstream, Worcester Review and “What Wilderness Is This: Women Write about the Southwest” (University of Texas Press: Austin, 2007.)
“Down the Tracks: Bruce Springsteen Sang to Me” appears in the anthology “Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process” (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.)
Porter’s essay “In Plainview” (Cimarron Review, 2005) was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2006.
Porter has received grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Tucson-Pima Arts Council, and has attended residencies at Helene Wurlizer Foundation of New Mexico, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers.
For additional information, visit http://poetrycenter.arizona.edu.
-By Austin Driscoll
set for April 6
Richard Shelton, author of the book “Crossing the Yard: Thirty Years as a Prison Volunteer,” will give a reading and sign books on April 6 at Northwest Campus, Room A-207, from 1-2 p.m.
Shelton, the University of Arizona Regents’ Professor of English Emeritus, is the author of 12 books of poetry and three non-fiction books.
His best-known book, a travel memoir titled “Going back to Bisbee,” has won several awards. “Crossing the Yard” was published in 2007 and won a Gold Medal in creative nonfiction from the Independent Publisher group.
-By Taylor Bock
By Isabel Cardenas
The high price tag for college tuition has plagued students for generations. It is a time-honored tradition to complain about tuition hikes, but how far can tuition rise before college becomes unaffordable?
Arizona’s three public universities are proposing tuition hikes that range from 13 to 31 percent. The Arizona Board of Regents will meet March 11 and 12 to consider adopting the proposals.
The University of Arizona has proposed a 31 percent tuition hike, bringing the average annual tuition cost to roughly $9,000.
Arizona State University suggested a 13 percent increase, raising the average annual tuition cost to about $8,100.
Northern Arizona University, with a proposal to raise tuition by 16 percent, would bring the average annual cost to $7,700.
University administrators say they have made cuts wherever possible, ranging from consolidating programs to cutting staff. They partially blame the tuition hikes on state cutbacks, but critics contend the increases far outstrip state funding.
At the University of Arizona, for example, tuition has increased 88 percent since 2006.
Pima Community College students who plan to transfer to universities are already feeling the pinch, and worry whether they can afford skyrocketing prices.
Thomas Keith, a PCC history major, blamed state legislators.
“We as students are suffering because, under current politics, we are overspending on a state level and having to cut on education,” he said.
Students have staged numerous protests on Arizona’s university campuses. With the tuition hikes, many students say they have to take out monstrous loans.
“I do my FAFSA, but it can only cover so much,” Keith said.
John Cox, a PCC philosophy major, plans to transfer to a university in the near future.
“Tuition hikes do factor in my decision to transfer, but I don’t know what to do about it,” Cox said. “The money has to come from somewhere.”
By Laura Halverson
Pima Community College and the University of Arizona are working together to help students earn their degrees at a more affordable rate.
PCC and UA South have been working collaboratively since 2002. Joint admissions, which allow students to be admitted to both schools simultaneously, began in 2006.
Now, UA has developed a model that will lead 10,000 new students to low-cost programs in the next 10 years. One key aspect of the plan is to keep costs down by using community college facilities and faculty members.
“Clearly, Arizona must do all it can to increase the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees,” PCC spokeswoman Rachelle Howell said. “The partnership between UA South and PCC is an invaluable resource for southern Arizonans seeking better lives through more education.”
UA South already has an office located at PCC’s East Campus. The university also works with PCC’s Southeast Education Center and coordinates course offerings at the UA Technology Park.
UA South offers a bachelor of arts in political science, history and English; a bachelor of applied science in supervision; and a bachelor of science in elementary education, network administration and family studies/human development.
UA’s new tiered tuition system is based on three core principles: lower and more predictable tuition, matching state support and minimal capital investment.
Using the three principles, UA and PCC have come up with a list of choices for getting a degree. Administrators call these options “pathways.”
Students can start a bachelor’s degree at a community college such as PCC and then transfer to UA when they complete their general education courses.
Under the PCC-UA joint admissions plan, students become part of both college communities simultaneously. When taking a PCC class, students pay PCC tuition; when taking a UA class, they pay UA tuition.
The new agreements will let students receive financial aid if they’re taking a full load of classes from the two schools. In previous years, students taking part time credits at PCC and part time credits at UA were ineligible for financial aid at either school.
Howell said students should contact the financial aid office at PCC or UA as early in the process as possible to discuss eligibility and ensure that financial aid application deadlines are met.
PCC and UA are also working to smooth transfer options.
For example, a student who completes general education courses at PCC may need just one more semester of biology before transferring to UA. The two schools hope the new partnership will mean the student can complete the course at PCC for a lower tuition rate.