Undocumented Youth Essay

985 Words 4 Pages
Due to my professional interests, I will focus on the education of undocumented students, specifically the policies in place that have either helped or hinder their access to schooling. I plan to locate myself within the discussion of these keywords within current scholarship, as well as how the undocumented, especially students, fit into current American landscape. What part do they play, and do they “belong” even if it is the only place they have ever lived. I plan on investigating how undocumented youth situate themselves within the definition of what it means to be “American.”
There are numerous keywords from the Keywords for American Cultural Studies text that influence my approach to theorizing the undocumented youth’s position in America.
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Plyer v. Doe was a groundbreaking case regarding the education of undocumented students in the United States. In this case the Supreme Court ruled undocumented persons are protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Lopez, 2005). The decision highlighted the fact that denying children education places them at even more of a disadvantage. Due to poverty, lack of English skills, and racial prejudice, the court felt keeping children out of school would lock them into the lowest socioeconomic class. While some may have seen this legislation as a step in the right direction for undocumented peoples, the struggle for educational fairness and opportunity for Latina/o’s continues to persist. As undocumented youth continue to receive an education that is supposedly geared toward their civic participation, it does not account for the fact that they are unable to fully participate in that society. Regardless of the passage of Plyer, immigration legislation and anti-immigration policies specifically targeting the Latino population have been passed. Which is why legislation, for example the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) need to be passed in order to create access to jobs, education and …show more content…
The passage of this bill would grant many undocumented youth access to legal residency and federal financial aid- thus removing legal and economic barriers to higher education (Gonzales, 2010). The DREAM Act was first presented in 2001 and has failed to pass since then. There are many stipulations that accompany the bill that even if passed, would only affect a small population of the undocumented. If that is the case, is it worth the

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