Tide Turns--At Least Temporarily--for Deportable Teen

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 08, 2008 1 min read
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Remember Arthur Mkoyan, the valedictorian at Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif., who was scheduled to be deported after commencement? Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, introduced a private bill in the U.S. Congress that postpones deportation and could lead to permanent residency for the youth and his family.

While the bill is pending, a stranger has stepped forward and committed to pay for the 17-year-old’s education at the University of California, Davis. She has pledged to pay for tuition and expenses for all four years. (Of course, if he were in living in South Carolina, he wouldn’t be able to attend a state school, even if he could pay for it, because of his undocumented status.) An Aug. 6 article, “Tuition Paid for Valedictorian in Legal Limbo,” in the San Francisco Chronicle tells the whole story. Sherry Heacox, the donor, is quoted as saying: “We’re all immigrants. Some of us just got here earlier than others.”

Meanwhile, in Maricopa County, Ariz., a 12-year-old boy’s family is facing deportation after the boy took a loaded pistol to his middle school, and deputies from the local sheriff’s office were called to the school to handle the incident, according to an Aug. 6 article in The Arizona Republic. Here’s where these things get complicated. Through the incident, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office determined that the boy and two of his three siblings are U.S. citizens, but his parents and a 10-year-old sibling are not. So it’s the undocumented members of the family who now face deportation. The boy is in U.S. custody.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.