“I really felt the stigma of being a convicted felon,” said Hernandez as he reminisced about his experience. “You are told that once you do your time, you can live free, but in reality the second part of your sentence begins when you are released.”
The forum, held last Saturday, focused on two key pieces of legislation. The first, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and temporary relief from deportation. The second, Prop. 47, reclassifies certain low level, non-violent felony convictions to misdemeanors.
Over the weekend, a photo of six smiling Desert Vista High School students dressed in black shirts emblazoned with gold letters as they arranged to spell a racial slur, surfaced on the internet. The viral image sparked nationwide headlines and responses on social media. We’Ced reporters discussed the incident and the aftermath. Below are their reflections.
In order to enroll in the liberal studies program at her college, Meza needed a social security number, something she did not have because she was undocumented. To work with children, she had to pass a background check and get her fingerprints scanned. Knowing she could do neither, she feared she would not be able to graduate.
Regrettably, too many of our youth are influenced a great deal by people like El Chapo. Leaders of drug cartels have slowly become fixtures on social media, and to some, are perceived as role models. Youth are attracted to the false belief that trafficking drugs is the only way out of poverty or the “hood.”