This week, Arizona 360 brought a variety of voices together to discuss immigration in Southern Arizona. We invited Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, immigration attorney Patricia Mejia and The Arizona Republic border reporter Rafael Carranza for the roundtable discussion. "What we don’t talk about enough, which is a major factor for us, is the human rights tragedy," said Napier. "My deputies recover about 150 bodies in the deserts of western Pima County, and those are only the bodies we recover. No one will ever know how many people are out there." The discussion also touched on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and how the issue could play out as midterm elections draw near.
A nationwide debate about teacher pay inspired action among Arizona teachers, who are among the lowest paid in the country. This week they demonstrated at the state Capitol and demanded a 20 percent pay increase. Arizona 360 visited the classroom of Elisabeth Milich, who teaches second grade for the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix. Earlier this month, Milich took her frustration to social media, posting a photo of her salary on Facebook. She explained what prompted her to share the information, and her reaction to the debate it generated. "This is why I’m 'red for ed,' this is why teachers should be paid more and respected, because not only are we paying for our own supplies, but our salaries are laughable and our raises are laughable," said Milich.
For a deeper understanding of education funding, Lorraine Rivera spoke to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. Douglas commented on the need for change in public schools and gave her thoughts on Gov. Doug Ducey's school safety plan.
One of Southern Arizona’s largest employers, Raytheon has taken a special interest in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at schools. Arizona 360 spoke to Laura McGill, vice president of engineering at Raytheon, who said the company is working to provide teachers "supplemental help," including after-school programs for students and summer opportunities for teachers. "Southern Arizona has invested in us, they have allowed us to expand our facilities as we need to for the growth we are experiencing. It’s important for us to give back to the local community," said McGill.