Undocumented Latino students' experiences with higher education in the United States: A narrative inquiry

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Anderson, Amber A.
Patterson, Jean A.
This Narrative Inquiry depicts the experiences and perceptions of undocumented Latino students/graduates within Kansas. Through the lens of Latino Critical Theory, counterstories pushed back against the dominant narrative of undocumented Latinos and higher education. An aspect I hope to capture is how undocumented Latino students are navigating their educational journey within the current anti-immigration context. Eight in-depth interviews were conducted based off a semi-structured protocol to examine themes from the LatCrit theory. LatCrit theory offered a race conscious framework to critically contrast oppressive aspects of society and the experiences of undocumented Latino students. The findings indicate DACA greatly influenced how participants approached higher education. The findings support Obama's administration and their attempts to strengthen the undocumented Latino student community. Participants explained how DACA had changed everything. For the first time in their lives, they were able to attend college with no fears of being deported. They were able to work legally and pay taxes. They were able to apply for driver's licenses and legally drive themselves to work and class. Participants challenged the common assumption about undocumented Latinos not valuing higher education. They would have felt more welcomed on campus if they had someone who could relate and discuss specific issues surrounding current immigration laws and DACA.
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Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology