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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Residents, Alien Policies, and Resistances: Experiences of Undocumented Latina/o Students in Chicago’s Colleges and Universities

  • Author(s): Diaz-Strong, Daysi;
  • Meiners, Erica
  • et al.

Through the collection of educational oral histories from students in higher education, this research explores the experiences of undocumented Latino students in Chicago to illustrate common factors that enabled this group to be educationally successful despite educational and immigration policies that criminalize every facet of their lives and construct them to be simultaneously extraneous to schooling, but essential to the service economy. In this political moment when the United States is debating the “legitimacy” of amnesty and extending citizenship to those undocumented, and the mainstream media frequently circulates representations of “illegals” with the themes that these individuals are “lazy” or “illegal” and thus undeserving of rights, it is vitally important that the voices and experiences of those undocumented is made visible. In the context where “aiding and abetting” those undocumented was potentially a crime as proposed in the House of Representatives Bill 4437 (The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 or the "Sensenbrenner Bill,") that was passed by the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182, educators cannot afford to ignore immigration policy as an educational issue, and we must connect both educational and immigration policies to the expansion of the punitive branches of our incarceration-nation.

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