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B-Side: Learning the Hard Way

students-hallwayWe’re learning the hard way. This edition of B-Side is about a group of people struggling to learn, to make it in college. And we’re not talking about the usual too many units not enough time kind of trouble. These students are undocumented immigrants – most brought here by their parents when they were too young to have any say in the matter. And now they’re dealing with the consequences.

There are all kinds of difficulties those of us who were born here would never even think about. Tam Tran, a graduate student at Brown University in American Studies helps us navigate the issue. Tam is undocumented.

Liner Notes:

Conflict in California: Jude Joffe-Block
In California a law called AB 540 allows students who graduate from California high schools to pay in-state tuition at state colleges. This in-state rate applies even to students who are undocumented, which makes it controversial. Jude Joffe-Block introduces us to people on both sides of the legal debate.

Cupcakes for College: Martin Ricard
Martin takes us to Lighthouse charter school in downtown Oakland where students have formed an organization to raise money to help their fellow undocumented classmates who need funds for college.

Campus Support Services: Karen Weise
Karen visits Cal State Long Beach where the university has a program to train faculty and staff to help undocumented students. Staff who complete the training get a sticker to put on their office door that lets students know they can go to them with questions and issues regarding their status.

These stories were reported by students in the Collaborative Journalism Project at UC Berkeley Law School’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity.  The multidisciplinary, multimedia project seeks to create a bridge between scholarship and journalism in California’s education system in order to provide the public, lawmakers and journalists with clear, thorough and unbiased information on the most salient education issues of the day.


Under Construction…We’ve Been Hacked

Dear Dedicated B-Side Listener:

Our site has been hacked, which is a total bummer. Our technical team is hard at work trying to repair the problem.  But, basically, the website has been wiped out.  We’re rebuilding now and when we’re done we hope it will be a much better site than it was before.  At the moment, though, it’s pretty ugly.

You can still listen to past shows on our bare bones podcast site:

Or by visiting us in Itunes:

You may also be wondering when the heck we’re going to have a new show for you. Well, that’s a good question. The answer is soon. And that’s not all. We’re actually working on three hour-long shows that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Here’s a preview:

IN LIMBO – The story of a man who went to Afghanistan to make a difference but found a more complicated reality than he could have imagined. And the stories of undocumented immigrant students trying to go to college and the obstacles that they face – legally, emotionally and fiscally.

LOST & FOUND – From a lost diary, to lost hearing to finding oneself in a batch of”Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes,” this episode of the show is about various forms of being lost and found. Host, Tamara Keith is looking for suggestions for where to tape the show. Do you know of an awesome lost and found, maybe at a museum? Do you know a nature guide who would be interested in getting lost with the host? If you have better suggestions, please send them to Tamara.

BOUNDARIES – There are physical boundaries and psychological ones. On this episode of B-Side, we explore a lot of them. We patrol the border on the open seas in Grease, visit a tiny European town divided between two nations. We take a ride in the Berkeley casual carpool where some people just have no boundaries and talk to a new mom who describes pregnancy like an alien invasion that doesn’t improve one the child is born.

See, we’ve been hard at work. We swear! In the meantime, please check out our old shows on itunes an Libsyn.

Again, we are sorry about our minor technical disaster.


The B-Side Crew


Additional Resources


Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee

California Immigrant Policy Center

California Immigrant Welfare Collaborative

Center for the Study of Migrant Education and Labor

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

Dept. of Homeland Security

DMI Blog:  Politics, Policy, and the American Dream

Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

Glendale Community College

Greenlining Institute

Jobs for the Future

Institute for Higher Education, Law and Governance University of Houston

Latino Issues Forum

The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Migration Policy Institute

National Coalition of Advocates for Students

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

National Immigration Law Center

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium

PEW Hispanic Center

The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute

United We Dream

Urban Institute

Articles – Academic and Advocacy

A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States

Chief Justice Earl
Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity UC Berkeley Law School

In-state Tuition and Unauthorized Immigrant Students National Conference of State Legislatures

Trends in Unauthorized Immigration PEW Hispanic Center

Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students College Board

Media:  Journalism and Advocacy

BNet, Winter 2002

The California ReportCollege Hard to Reach for Undocumented Students

NewsHourTuition Tug of War

Video: Lost and FoundTam Tran

Video: Undocumented Dreams
Greenlining Institute

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