How Can We Improve Graduate Training for Undocumented Students? Ethnic and Nativity-Based Inequities in Political Science Graduate Education

How Can We Improve Graduate Training for Undocumented Students? Ethnic and Nativity-Based Inequities in Political Science Graduate Education

by Michelangelo Landgrave, University of California, Riverside

In recent years, the political science discipline has made strides towards building a more inclusive field. Nonetheless, training of undocumented students and others with irregular migrant statuses (e.g. refugees, asylees, TPS recipients) remains inadequate. As educators, Michelangelo Landgrave argues that we have a duty to care for our students regardless of incidents of birth, including birthplace. In this article, Michelangelo Landgrave highlights some of the unique barriers that undocumented students face and proposes possible solutions.

He emphasizes that undocumented students are demographically diverse and that, in addition to a large Latino/a/x subpopulation, there is a significant Asian and Pacific Islander subpopulation. He also emphasizes that not all undocumented students are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Obama era policy granted temporary work authorization to some undocumented students, but many undocumented students were not ineligible or were unable to pay the high cost of enrollment. Until legislative action addresses the larger undocumented student population, efforts to aid undocumented students should avoid targeting only DACA recipients. The political science field can do its part by removing citizenship requirements from existing scholarships and training programs.

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