ERIC Number: EJ1077355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Imagined Futures: Thoughts on the State of Policy and Research Concerning Undocumented Immigrant Youth and Young Adults
Gonzales, Roberto G.
Harvard Educational Review, v85 n3 p518-525 Fall 2015
The situation of undocumented immigrant youth is one of the most important issues today. Since the introduction of the federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in 2001, their circumstances have captured the attention of the American public as well as the academic community. Fourteen years have passed without any legislative change. But while Congress has yet to find a solution to this vexing problem, the landscape of access for undocumented immigrant youth has changed dramatically, even within the last three years. Most notably, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped a large segment of undocumented immigrant young people take important steps toward civic membership. In addition, several states have passed tuition equity bills providing some monetary relief for undocumented students at state universities. Many private universities have also taken great strides in making higher education more affordable for undocumented students, and several national scholarships for this population have been launched. Furthermore, organizations around the country have assisted undocumented students by providing useful information and resources. Much of this change can be attributed to the tireless efforts of those most affected by current laws and practices as well as to their allies within schools and communities across the country. By the same token, change has also been slow and uneven across geographies. Bans to higher education still exist, and the majority of states do not have a tuition assistance policy. The articles in this special issue are a testament to the diversity and wide interdisciplinary interests--across units of analysis, settings, and geographies--and to the potential for this area of study to develop into a vital, interdisciplinary subfield. Given that the legal landscape has changed for undocumented young people--with some enjoying a wider array of rights and others being pushed further out on the margins--it is clear that the scholarship in this area is at an important crossroads. This afterword examines a number of unanswered questions that will need to be addressed on this topic going forward.
Descriptors: Undocumented Immigrants, Public Policy, Tuition, Federal Legislation, Access to Education, Higher Education, Program Descriptions, State Universities, Private Colleges, Scholarships, Laws, Interdisciplinary Approach, Disadvantaged, Educational Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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