Where the city of Phoenix once ended at 83rd Avenue, onion fields began — stretching into the distance in a nearly straight shot to Luke Air Force Base. Almost 50 years later, the ground that once supported agriculture now reflects a community whose roots prove ever changing.
As dusk fell, on small house near South Mountain lit up with joy as 20 people gathered around an iPad screen. It’s home to the Tergar Buddhist Meditation Center and the faithful were greeting their spiritual teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, for the first time in four years.
Not far from a sewage treatment plant, a landfill and the Maricopa County jail annex are the four schools and hundreds of families that make up the Murphy Elementary School District in South Phoenix, where more than 80 percent of its residents are Hispanic, most of them poor and many undocumented.
Families and immigrant advocates marched through downtown to demand an end to mass deportations. The group started at the capital and made stops at the Phoenix Police Department and ICE detention center.