From Barbies to Boycotts: How Immigration Raids in Arizona Created a Ten-Year Old Activist
Abstract: Increasingly hostile and unpredictable immigration policies can have traumatizing consequences for children of undocumented immigrants. This case study examines the way that increased practices of detention and deportation affect the childhood and adolescence of young people living in an anti-immigrant state like Arizona. Specifically, the life story of Katherine Figueroa during Arizona’s anti-immigrant climate, illustrates the struggle and implications for mixed-status families. The findings demonstrate the extent to which being separated from her parents influenced her mental health and academic life. The themes outlined in this paper suggest that in a continued repressive political context, children’s preoccupations and experiences with family separation are likely to have lasting consequences as these children transition into adulthood. Additionally, this study describes how community organizing, resources, support, and a proactive response to family separation can change the outcomes of parental detention. Findings from this study reveal, for educators, school administrators, counselors, community practitioners, and policy makers, how familial documentation status can have equally complex and lasting consequences for children’s academic, emotional, and physical well-being.
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Citation: Rodriguez Vega, Silvia. (2015). From Barbies to Boycotts: How Immigration Raids in Arizona Created a Ten-Year Old Activist. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 11(2), Article . gseis_interactions_24390. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/4132f7qf
Silvia Rodriguez Vega is an undocu-ARTivist (artist & activist) scholar born in Chihuahua, Mexico with roots in el desierto de Arizona. She is the founder of Teatro Nopalero, a political street theatre group also based in Phoenix, the place that informs her academic and artistic work. The poem “Decriminal(I.C.E.)d” was inspired by her experience of living with everyday uncertainty in Arizona due to her (now previous) undocumented status. Silvia went to college at Arizona State University and earned a Masters of Arts in Education from Harvard University in 2011. Currently, Silvia is a third year doctoral student in the first Ph.D. cohort at the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA.
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Citation: Rodriguez Vega, Silvia. (2015). Decriminal(I.C.E.)d. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 11(1), Article . gseis_interactions_24388. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/14c9b85x
My Life as a DREAMer who ACTed Beyond the Barriers: From Growing Up “Undocumented” in Arizona to a Master’s Degree from Harvard
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Citation: Rodriguez Vega, Silvia. (2011). My Life as a DREAMer who ACTed Beyond the Barriers: From Growing Up. HARVARD JOURNAL OF HISPANIC POLICY, 23, 37.