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Article 4

Catherine Hawkings

 

Catherine Hawkins, Ph.D.

School of Social Work

Texas State University-San Marcos


 Beatriz Gomez

 

Beatriz Gomez

International Studies Graduate Student

Texas State University-San Marcos

 

Undocumented Hispanic Students Pursuing Higher Education in the US: A Dream Deferred

 

Abstract

 

Although immigrant Latinas, including many undocumented students, are gaining more access to higher education, they lag behind non-Hispanic and white female students in completing a four-year degree, due to social, economic, political, and legal obstacles. Undocumented Latina students face significant challenges in the current social, political, legal, economic climate in the U.S., including proposed immigration restrictions and continued opposition to the DREAM Act. Investigation this population of students is critical in order to understand the implications of proposed immigration reforms in order to more effectively advocate on their behalf and redress these obstacles. This is an issue of human rights as well as the long-term benefit of the U.S. to access their real and potential contributions to the larger society. This article reviews the challenges faced by undocumented Latina students pursuing higher education in the United States, including an exploration of current demographic trends and generational changes, examination of contemporary immigration policy, and review of relevant recent research on this vulnerable population, with a focus on building resiliency.