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Examining Racist Nativist Microagressions on DACAmented College Students in the Trump Era

  • Author(s): Gomez, Valerie
  • Perez Huber, Lindsay
  • et al.
Abstract

Within public discourses of immigration, immigrant Communities of Color are increasingly targeted by expressions of racist nativism—a form of racism that has historically targeted Latinx communities that is based upon real or perceived immigrant status that in turn, assigns a foreign identity that justifies subordinating practices and policies. Beginning with his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has advanced racist nativist discourse that framed undocumented Latinx immigrants as “invaders” and “criminals.” This paper examines how these discourses impact Latinx DACAmented college students through their experiences with racist nativist microaggressions within and beyond their college campuses. Findings indicate these students are targeted by this type of microaggression, shaped by the anti-immigrant and anti-Latinx political discourses that the Trump administration advocates. Analysis of 10 in-depth interviews with Latinx DACAmented college students reveals that as a result of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, students are becoming more fearful and uncertain of their future. Even still, we found students felt empowered to resist this racism, remain resilient, and maintain a sense of hope.

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