Undocumented and in College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility

Undocumented and in College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility

Undocumented and in College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility

Undocumented and in College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility

Synopsis

The current daily experiences of undocumented students as they navigate the processes of entering and then thriving in Jesuit colleges are explored alongside an investigation of the knowledge and attitudes among staff and faculty about undocumented students in their midst, and the institutional response to their presence. Cutting across the fields of U.S. immigration policy, theory and history, religion, law, and education, Undocumented and in College delineates the historical and present-day contexts of immigration, including the role of religious institutions. This unique volume, based on an extensive two-year study (2010-12) of undocumented students at Jesuit colleges in the United States and with contributions from various scholars working within these institutions, incorporates survey research and in-depth interviews to present the perspectives of students, staff, and the institutions.

Excerpt

This book is the result of a four-year study of the experiences of colleges and college students in the United States who are traversing higher education while undocumented. the chapters in the book explore how the situation of such immigrants has changed over time and what the current legal challenges and opportunities are for this growing population of students. a description of this Ford Foundation–funded study can be found in the Introduction. While many of the chapter authors worked on the original study, additional scholars have been included to help to add context and to update our findings with current college practices.

As co-editors of this book, we were both part of the social science research team that interviewed staff, faculty, and students and analyzed the various types of data collected to gain an understanding of how institutions have responded and adapted to having undocumented students on their campuses. the research took place, as is the case now, at a time with high migration rates around the world and when immigration politics and policy are extremely contested issues that bring out strong, often hostile emotional reactions, very divergent policy views and proposals, and the potential for human rights abuses. the study provides the opportunity to also look at the role of another institutional actor in the debates: religious organizations, namely, the responses of the twenty-eight colleges in the U.S. Catholic Jesuit higher education network. This context provides another layer of analysis: the role of these mission-driven institutions in responding and reacting to this contested issue. Studying this particular system of schools is extremely useful for a study such as this because the earliest schools in the network were founded to provide schooling to the new immigrants of that time, namely, Catholic Italian and Irish first generation immigrants.

The strategic research design of the study allowed for the opportunity to understand all twenty-eight schools, and to use a case study approach . . .

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