Research Brief Series

UndocuScholars’ Policy and Research Brief Series aims to disseminate knowledge about key issues related to undocumented youth in higher education including humanizing research methodologies and the conceptualization of deportation as an education policy issue. Each research brief had a corresponding dissemination event in the form of a webinar or Twitter Chat. Check out more information about the research brief series and corresponding events here.


Implementation of Public and Institutional Policies for Undocumented and DACAmented Students at Higher Education Institutions

H. Kenny Nienhusser, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

We are living at a critical time when the construction of inclusive policies and practices by higher education institutions and institutional agents1 for students who are undoc- umented2 or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)3 status are needed more than ever. While tens of thousands of undocu/DACAmented4 students are enrolled in higher education institutions, they often have to overcome discriminatory policies and contend with unknowledgeable higher education institutional agents who may not address their specific needs.5 Complex public policy landscapes and individual campus environments can shape institutional agents’ implementation of policies and practices that impact undocu/DACAmented students. is research brief will map the policy and campus environments and conclude with how learning opportunities can help inform institutional agents’ practice.

The “Trump Effect” and Undocumented and DACA Community College Students

Susana M. Muñoz, Colorado State University - Fort Collins

The burgeoning research on undocumented and DACA students attending community colleges suggests that barriers to college access and persistence continue to exist despite in-state tuition policies. Using the state of Colorado as a case study, this research brief discusses issues such as heightened white supremacy, uncertain academic trajectories, and creating supportive spaces at community colleges. Here is the recording of the corresponding webinar discussion.

"Deportation as an Educational Policy Issue: How We Can Fight Back and Why We Must" 

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco

Immigrant detention and deportation has commanded much of the national attention around the Trump administration's immigration policy, though conversations about undocumented college students have often failed to fully engage this broader context. If higher education scholars and advocates are serious about supporting undocumented young people, we must be active in the fight against deportations. This research brief discusses how deportation shapes the educational experiences of undocumented young people in higher education.

"Moving Beyond Ethicality: Humanizing Research Methodologies with Undocumented Students and Communities"

Lindsay Pérez Huber, Associate Professor, College of Education at California State University, Long Beach

In a sociopolitical context where immigrant and undocumented students are increasingly targeted by racist nativist practices and policies, ethical considerations for research with these communities are imperative. Acknowledging such considerations should be the responsibility of all researchers, and serve as an entry point into the study of the experiences of any historically marginalized population. In this brief, Dr. Lindsay Pérez Huber argues that a move beyond ethicality is necessary to engage humanizing research methodologies.