Undocumented Uruguayan Immigrants: Biliteracy and Educational Experiences

Undocumented Uruguayan Immigrants: Biliteracy and Educational Experiences

Undocumented Uruguayan Immigrants: Biliteracy and Educational Experiences

Undocumented Uruguayan Immigrants: Biliteracy and Educational Experiences

Excerpt

One day in 2006 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Greta told me that there was no sueño americano [American Dream] for undocumented immigrants like herself and her family as their lives resembled more a pesadilla americana [an American nightmare]. Of the ten undocumented Uruguayan immigrant families that I followed for a period of a year and a half to study the biliteracy development and educational experiences of their adolescent children, Greta was the only one to vividly articulate her situation with such powerful terminology. However, I knew the other parents felt the same level of frustration and disappointment toward a situation that they created for themselves and their children as they desperately left economic uncertanties in Uruguay and migrated to the U.S. illegally with the hope of carving out a better future for their families.

Shortly after arriving in the U.S., these parents’ high hopes for their children’s education and social and economic mobility were disillusioned by the limited opportunities that their undocumented status generated, in particular as it related to their children’s access to post-secondary education. Such constraint has severe consequences for the future of these immigrant students, which in some cases may lead to little motivation to even graduate from high school and seek . . .

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