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Open Access Publications from the University of California


In affiliation with ISSI, the Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR) was established in 1989 in response to the policy challenges of limited educational and economic opportunities facing the Chicano and Latino population. CLPR's current research interest focuses on immigration, access to higher education, and political participation. CLPR also provides public policy internships for undergraduates as well as mini-grant/research opportunities for graduate students.

Center for Latino Policy Research

There are 61 publications in this collection, published between 1993 and 2015.
UC Latino Eligibility Task Force (5)

Latino Student Eligibility and Participation in the University of California: Ya Basta!

The statewide context that frames Latino Student UC eligibility and participation has been studied and the facts have become increasingly clear to the Task Force: 

Latino students and families place great value in higher education.

Latino families are cohesive in spite of extreme poverty and growing urbanization.

Latino families are traditional but allow women to pursue higher education.

Latino students represent a large and growing population in this state.

Latino college students come from lower socioeconomic strata.

Latino college students come predominantly from public high schools.

Few Latino community college students transfer to the University of California.

Latino retention and graduation rates vary little from the UC average.

A downward trend is developing regarding Latino student participation in UC.

A corps of UC outreach programs substantially increase UC eligibility for Latino and other underrepresented student participants. 

UC eligibility of Latino students can be greatly increased by eliminating the SAT.

Latino Student Eligibility and Participation in the University of California: Report Number One of the Latino Eligibility Task Force

Less than 4% of Latino high school graduates are fully eligible for admission to the university compared to an overall overage of 12.3%. This profound underrepresentation distinctly threatens the economic and social fabric of our state and nation, especially because the Latino population is growing at a much faster rate than any other ethnic group. Present projections indicate that Latinos will be majority of high school graduates in California a decade from now.

Too often a complex phenomenon such as eligibility is understood on either naïve or imperfect grounds. This type of popular wisdom often reaches mythic proportions. Popular misunderstanding of Latino student eligibility and participation is a case in point. Thus, this report outlines a set of key myths about Latino students and their families and uses existing information to challenge those myths.

Even at this early stage of Task Force activities, there is a sense of urgency in calling for action on the part of the university to improve the representation of Latino students. The issues surrounding eligibility are complex, however, and substantive solutions will require both short-and longer-term Task Force efforts, as well as institution resolve and responsiveness. The Task Force strategy will be to address these issues by analyzing existing data and studies; conducting original research beginning with action-oriented mini-studies and an “anchoring” study; and sponsoring symposia and conferences. By these means, the Task Force will highlight problems and identify policy and procedural solutions to the eligibility crisis.

Latino Student Eligibility and Participation in the University of California: Report Number Two of the Latino Eligibility Task Force

School Outreach Recommendations: Traditional and Transfer Students


1. Hold accountable those who have responsibility for UC outreach and articulation.

2. Focus on the Students who live within commuting distance

3. Provide material in Spanish for parents

Transfer Students:

1. Establish "Step-toUniversity"  programs

2. Expand strategically targeted outreach services in the communitycolleges

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Policy Reports and Research Briefs (42)
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CLPR Working Papers (14)

High-Risk, Good Outcomes: The Health Paradox of Latina Mothers and Infants

The Mexican-origin population in California is one of the fastest growing groups in the state, due to high immigration and fertility rates. Despite the presence of a variety of risk factors associated with poor pregnancy outcomes in other populations, Mexican-origin women enjoy low rates of infant mortality and low birthweight. This striking epidemiological paradox in such a significant portion of the state’s population merits close examination.

This working paper brings together a number of studies that have sought to explain the phenomenon of positive birth outcomes in the at-risk Mexican-origin population. Past studies center around four hypotheses which suggest that 1) selective migration might favor more healthy mothers; 2) protective socio-cultural factors could outweigh many of the risk factors associated with adverse birth outcomes; 3) excessive fetal death within the population eliminate weaker fetuses before birth; and 4) infant death may go unreported.

An understanding of these issues will aid policy maker and health care providers in designing interventions and policies to protect the health of Latina mothers and children in California.

Labor Migration From Mexico And Free Trade: Lessons From A Transnational Community

This paper examines the relationship between regional development and labor migration to the United States in the context of NAFTA. To this end, mainly through ethnographic work, the migration experience of people from Tlacuitapa, Jalisco is analyzed to see whether or this flow can be reduced through the implementation of NAFTA.

The paper develops two principal arguments. First, the current migration process between Mexico and the Untied states is not only the result of push-pull economic factors, as is generally assumed, but also the result of well-developed social networks and the implementation of government policies in both Mexico and the United States as manifested by the formation of a number of “transnational communities,” like Tlacuitapa. The term transnational community describes rural Mexican communities that specialize in the production and reproduction of international migrant workers. This observation leads to a second and related argument: the additional job creation resulting from NAFTA would not necessarily stem the international migration flows in regions with a long tradition of migration to the United States.

Although manufacturing jobs have been created in a city near Tlacuitapa, the migration flows has not been affected in this community. Tlacuitapa is compared to other communities in the Los Altos de Jalisco region that have successfully stemmed migration flows to the United States. These cases reveal that international migration can be reduced in transnational communities by facilitating the establishment of small business and cooperatives. However, NAFT might cause an apposite effect by affecting these small-scale enterprises negatively.

The case of Tlacuitapa suggests that the creation of transnational communities is an important aspect of the integration between Mexico and the United States. Since labor mobility across national borders like international trade is part of the consolidation of a global economy, migration from Mexico should be part of the agenda in negotiations between the two countries. Since NAFTA by itself will not play a significant role in deterring emigration from traditional sending areas, labor mobility should be addressed in the mutual interests of people from both countries; otherwise NAFTA will become another pipe dream of immigration deterrence like the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

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