Saturday, July 28, 2007

with reguards to the play

Junior Cohort
Center for Higher Education and Policy Analysis
27 July 2007

It is one thing to just listen, it is another to take what we have learned and apply it. That is the basic principal we were trying to adhere to while searching for our concept as a token to society. We have learned that it is not enough just to listen, but all of us have to take part in a cause that we believe. We believed in the cause of educating. We collectively wrote “The Journey Taken” as an educational forum in order to voice our political ideology, drawing inspiration from articles, speakers and novels that have been provided by SummerTIME. We are greatly thankful that they have opened our minds in thinking critical on how society and the government works. SummerTIME has changed our views on immigration and the immigration issue, they have given us knowledge that is irreplaceable. Our instructor gave us the opportunity for creativity and for that this play came into bloom as it is now. This is the manifestation of our hard work and our dedication for change.
Junior Cohort 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Immigration Pamphlet Report

Henry Franco, Stephanie Dorsey, Lidia Corona, Jaycee Melendez, Jenny Thai, Christian Escobedo, Yun-Jung Choi
Coach Marino and Coach Katrina
Junior Cohort
Project Report
27 July 2007

As an individual group, we came up with the idea of writing a pamphlet for undocumented students. We want to inform undocumented students about financial aid, college, and that they are not alone in their endeavors of pursuing a higher education. Undocumented students often predict that they are not able to receive financial aid because they undocumented; however, we want to show them that there are as many opportunities for them as there is for U.S. citizens. Some undocumented students do not go to college for the fear not affording it, but there are so many scholarships and organizations willing to help them succeed. It is a matter of time for undocumented students to realize that there is money waiting for them and we are willing to help them because our purpose is to inform the public about our project and how it‘s going to help others.

Working on a pamphlet was not as easy as it seemed. Our group had to set aside a timeline to take advantage of the time we had in class, rules for each group member telling them what they had to work on, and a needs list telling us what we had to get done and if we had to use a computer. Our group was set as follows; Lidia Corona and Stephanie Dorsey worked on the summary of AB540, Christian Escobedo and Yun-Jung Choi worked on examples, Jaycee Melendez and Henry Franco found Scholarships, finally yet importantly the Artwork in our cover page by Jenny Thai and Henry Franco. We began by starting an outline and rough draft of our pamphlet. To organize the pamphlet all the scholarships, the AB540 information, the examples, and other materials had to be collected. The group wanted more scholarship research and was able to get it done on time for last minute assembling. The pamphlet’s cover had to be ready by Monday July 23, 2007 so that Henry was able to photocopy the artwork on it. The group later decided to distribute the pamphlets in some of our high schools, community colleges, and educational programs. Our goals for the last week of SummerTIME were, Saturday July 21, 2007 everything had to be typed and Sunday a rough draft done. Start editing the rough draft on, type final draft and assembling the packet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday work on last minute items by adding more information on pamphlet and arranging the final draft; finally, on Friday the group can distribute our project.

Through this project, our group learned many things on how to take action for our community. Learning that our project will make a difference in an undocumented student’s life is a good way to pay us back for our hard work. We were able to get a sense of gratitude when we know that we are helping others. Our project is a way to take people out of their ignorance that college is not for them due to poor economic status. Informing people of what the Dream Act and AB540 through our project informs us that the community will be aware of how to help undocumented students. It is through students like us, the SummerTIME students that doors open for people that want an education
With out a beret my
lyrics will let
I walk through the streets of Havana
And I'm a let
The infer red soak
Am I a victim of an infinite joke?
The reversal of the mirrors and smoke
I love the place that I live, but I hate the people in charge
Who's to say we aren't getting stronger?
Who's to say I can't live without you?
Who are they anyway? Anyway they don't know
My home is here, America!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Nidia, Helen, and Deysi's group project is to get signitures for a petition that supports the Dream Act, which would give undocumented students the priviledge to pursue a higher education and become legalized. These signitures will be an important contribution to the organization that they are helping, El Comite de Padres Unidos (Commitee of the United Fathers) because by the time the program is over, Nidia, Helen, and Deysi will send the signitures to the commitee, and the commitee will send it to Congress. We are hoping to help make a difference with our contribution. If you would also like to help, visit this link

Roberto Leni

Roberto Leni is from Chile. He came to the United States for he and his family were kicked out from his home country. He attended high school in the U.S. He was a very shy person and did not speak to many people. Roberto based his way of being and the way he wrote in Spanish.He felt that he was supposed to portrait himself in Spanish. He then realized that people saw him as a white person because of his appereance. Though he managed to write well in Spanish, he then realized that he could write well in English. Now he is a successful writer, he most likely lives in the USC campus and he is also a councelor at USC.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

no one else

Why are there pieces of love that dont belong
Nations droppin bombs
Chemical gasses fillin lungs of little ones
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animisty
Lack of understanding, leading away from unity
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
And a life no one can reach

You believed I loyalty
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Everyone that you’ve known in the safety of your home
And now you would be known by no name except deportee
Going into a strange world of our opportunity
Where billions are spent on bombs creating death showers
The bottom line is money nobody gives a fuck
Whatever happened to the values of humanity…?

My Home Is Here, America

My home is here, America,
My Promised Land, my Yisrael.
What God gave to my ancestors,
He now gives equally to all.
Yet if you call us will be deportee,
And all they will call you will be deportee.
Who are all these friends, all scattered liked dry leaves,
It’s me but also you.

You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane.
But I ride the plane with a name.
My Promised Land, my Yisrael,
Is homeland to the human race.
He now gives equally to allA holy land, a sacred place;
Now you too are riding the airplane with name.

We’ve been pulling out the nails that had up
For our own-not others, even not thy brother.
Not respectin’ each other, deny thy brother
A war goin’ on but the reason’s undercover
Is homeland to the human race,
The world's long longed-for world-to-be,
A holy land, a sacred place,
Where all alike are safe and free.
Now for others, for thy brother, I pull out the nails.

The world's long longed-for world-to-be,
What God gave to my ancestors,Where all alike are safe and free:
My home is here, America!
Where’s the truth, y’all come on I don’t know,
Where’s the love, y’all.
No more wandering, finally home, my home- America.


Heckle a nation
Like Fidel from seditious
I'm living America with infidels and their riches
A wizard or a witches
Even if their just lizards their still bitches
Mind switches
From topic to topic
I remember hoe I'd smile
Listening to my little ones,
Understanding every word they'd say,
Their jokes, their songs, their plots
I say to them, "No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in"
They would ask, "What's wrong with the world, mama?"
It's like people livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma

Collage of Amercin Sorrow

upgrade Martin Luther
release your inhibitions
we've got a long way to go
feel the rain...
when the snow hit the aspalt, cold looks and bad talk come.

I stand by the stove... alone.
embarrassed at the laughter of my children,
the grocer, the mailman, sometimes i take
my english book and
lock myself in the bathroom.
feel[ing] dumd!

We've got a long way to go
in the broken mirror of this country.
its beyond your skin

upgrade computer!
The crickets of the fractured morning
In a place we once knew
With the people we love

My oldest say,
“Mama he doesn’t want you to be smarter that him”
But why? Aren’t we in the land of free?
I’m forty embarrassed mispronouncing words

Is learning English such a bad thing?
We are the angry and the desperate
With a second generation that doesn’t understand
my Spanish any more

The generation that doesn’t want home food and only thing of McDonalds
The generation that is embarrassed of their own roots
but what happen? What happen to the place I once knew?
What happen to the place I once call home?

Open a Window

In this place
We speak with feeling
To stanch the human flow
Minutemen, the blasts of openly xenophobic
Drench yourself in words unspoken
To the people and places I can't see again
I will open a window
Live your life with arms wide open

Still Below the Surface

I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand ending unplanned

I break tradition, sometimes my tries are outside the lines

My Spanish isn't good enough

We've been conditioned to make mistakes, but I cant live that way

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards

What good are eyes that fail one in a garden

What good are the ears that only hear songs of static

We have not to raise up from among them

-Stephanie Dorsey

Good Fruit

I was only nine years old
when I last saw my mother's face
her body never found
not a single trace
I bought a book to learn English
My husband frowned drank beer
Su condición de transformarse en el hombre que soño y no ha logrado
[His condition to transform into the man that he dreamt and didn't achieve]
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit

Time in the U.S.

If I recall, far far away
The future was shining on everywhere
Beneath the beautiful blue sky
We were just a little afraid
At the same time that the United States was blocking the border arteries,
its trade policies were only increasing the pressure on Mexicans to leave their country
No one was actually deterred, but more people died.
They speak English. At night they sit around
the kitchen table, laugh with one another.
Out of sight. Out of mind. Again, for a time.
What difference does it make if Minutemen have camped out in lawn chairs on the other side?

Thursday, July 19, 2007


"I was born in Michoacán, Mexico which is in the southern western part of Mexico on the pacific coast and I was brought to the U.S. when I was three and a half years old by my parents but my parents were actually here before me and my great grandparents were going back and forth so its interesting that way. It was a very financial experience that I had. I speak Spanish fluently, English of course and a little bit of French, I could speak it. I think it’s worth mentioning that I was first generation, I’m the first person in my family from both sides to go to college. I was very lucky that my parents back in the years were still able to arrange their papers really soon so I was only undocumented for three years.”

"El compadre has two sons that kind who are the same, age as me and my brother right. Kind of looks like us, not a lot but we were from a very very very poor town in Mexico. My family was a very hard working class. So we borrowed the clothes from these two kids who looked like us and their same age as me and my brother right. Kind of looks like us, not a lot but we were from a very very very poor town in Mexico. My family was a very hard working class. So we borrowed the clothes from these two kids who looked like us and their green card and everything. We got to the border and we are supposed to say who we are. I think my name was Oscar or something and I couldn't remember what my name was. So the immigration official asked me what is your name and I looked up to my dad and said 'what’s my name?' so I don’t know why that guy let us through. Maybe he felt sorry or something.”

“ ... So going to college for me wasn’t difficult...but there are still challenges being a first generation...I rarely call myself a Chicano because a Chicano is more like a political consciousness... ""The push pull factor occurs way long before we are born. It happens even before our parents meet and decide to have kids and a lot of push pull factors that happens within immigrants in particular are political factors that have nothing to do with our families sure my family was really really poor... and like sure we could have died like my grandparents brothers and sisters. But that’s not really the push-push factor. It’s the fact the economy that my parents saw that they could have a job there. So that was beyond my parents..."Grandparents came here first as Brazeros to work in the fields. "The push-pull factors is more than just what your family needs, it’s more you are at and people run where there is money and shelter..." People confused him anything but a student. My Family was very conservative and didn't support him with going to college because believed that it was not necessary.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Svenja was born in a little town outside of Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany). Not much is known about Svenja's personal life in Northern Germany nor do we know much about her family. However, what we do know is that she traveled to Ireland one summer for vacation and meet a nice Mexican gentlemen there.

During that summer both Svenja and her nice aquaintances became closer to one another and ultimately fell in love with one another. The sad truth Auf Wiedersehen (Good Bye's) are sad. Therefore, after Svenja's return to Germany she decided that she wanted to pursue that romance to America. Svenja began to apply for a Visa that will eventually allow her to see her lover once more.

Svenja says, "I had to pay a lot of fees to get the student visa." Yet that was not an obstacle for her since since she also mentioned that getting a student visa in Germany is pretty easy, you just need to wait a few months versus Latin Americans.

When Svenja achieved to receive her Student Visa it was easy for Svenja to transition into American culture: She came from a first-world country, she was familiar with English, and could easily assimulate with the "dominant" culture in the United States.

Despite that she identifies herself more Deutsches (German) than she will ever consider herself American. Her love for the man she loves is the reason she decided to immigrate to the United States. Yet even though Svenja is able to assimulate into American culture she still encounters barriers and obstacles. For example, Svenja mentions, "The problem about being an international student is that U have to pay internatiional fees to go to college...You cannot vote...[and] I am only allowed to work 20 hours per week."

Svenja is forced to pay International fees in Los Angeles Trade Tech. However, she is not so much as a materialistic individual and does not want to be a burden on her parents by making them pay for her education. Rather then doing that, Svenja works the little she can after she applied for her work visa.

The ironic part about Svenja's partner is that he is also an immigrant. Yet unlike Svenja, her boyfriend was able to marry a United States citizen so he could get his legal status in the U.S.A. Svenja comments, "I am thankful for the woman who married my he is getting a divorce," while giggling. Hence, Svenja's life as a Caucasian immigrant in America can be debated if whether or not her life is easier. But, when questioned if she missed Deutschland she responded, "I feel like a prisoner here [Los Angeles]. I miss walking in the forest."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

kim panel

"Kim" is a female, who was born in South Korea in 1976. She was abandoned by her parents, who she believes were too poor to keep her. During the 1970s, the "silent war" in Korea caused a lot of poverty.

"Kim" was put in a helicopter, which went to Alaska. She was then adopted by a Caucasian couple in Oklahoma. She grew up in Oklahoma. Her father worked in a coal mine and her mother was a seamstress. However, they did not have enough money. "Kim" got her first job, working in her middle school cafeteria, in 6th grade.

She enjoyed reading the encylopedia because she was bored and she wanted to, "learn and study as much as possible."She earned a 3.8 G.P.A. in high school, but she couldn't get financial aid for college. She worked several, "random jobs," such as baby-sitting, tutoring, and in a Chinese Express. "Kim's" adoptive parents didn't support her desire of going to college, but they also never blocked her from it. She worked her random jobs to earn a paycheck and pay her way through school. An English teacher named Sherry Baker, was a great motivor for "Kim." She is now in a Ph.D program in U.S.C, where she is majoring in literature, creative writing, and poetry.

But as was growing up, she experienced several prejudices. People asked her ridiculous questions like, "What are you" and "Where do you really come from?"

She says that she would have preferred, "Where were you born?" because it is more considerate. She was also called a "China doll," she isn't from China, but from Korea. Growing up, she also heard a lot about the Asian, "model minority." It was the assumption that every Asian person was brilliant and wealthy.

Concerning today's immigration laws, she believes that it is wrong of the U.S. to make it difficult for foreign students who want to attend college.

She believes that anyone can become President because this is a "land of immigrants."
She sees herself as a "Citizen of the world," and she feels that "home is something you create.. where you feel love."

Monday, July 16, 2007

immigration kim

Kim came to the US at the age of 5 months. She was born in South Korea during the time of the Korean war (also known as the Silent War). In Korea her birthparents didn't have the resources to take care of her, so the y relinquished her to an adoption agency that sought out kids from war stricken countries. She was adopted at the age of 4 months, abandoned, transferred to Alaksa, and finally adopted by a family in Oklahoma. Her mother was a seamstress and her father was a coal miner. Her parents were both Caucasian, in which they could not put a name on it. Growing up she would read the encyclopedia and excelled in school. She worked multiple jobs to fund her schooling activities. Upon making a college decision, her parents didn't support her choice to go to college. Though they never actively blocked her from going to college, they wouldn't financially help her. She had a high GPA, but it wasn't high enough to get scholarships. All throughout her life, people assumed that she was any race except Korean. They even assumed that she was an international student in college. The notion of Asians as being the model minority also effected her in her college experience. "The notion of [Asian Americans] being rich was invented in the 1980s by Time Magazine. She has now obtained her college education and in her opinion she feels that it is deeply immoral for US to hold capable undocumented students back. In her last words on the panel she claimed, "The land of opportunity is the land of glass ceilings.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poet of the Border: Reyna Grande

The issues of citizenship and immigration are written not in laws but across the lives of those cut by the borders that divide us. We need more than newspaper articles to consider these issues; we need art. For our inaugural post, we highlight Reyna Grande, celebrated author of Across a Hundred Mountains.

Grande offers an interrogation of the psychic divide produced by crossing from one land to El Otro Lado. In this moving story, two souls share one fate as they struggle with the legacy of the loved ones who have left them and whom they have left behind.

Born in Guerrero, Mexico the author lived her own journey North to become an acclaimed author. She is now working on her second novel.

See her website and blog.

Visions and Voices Map