Immigrants’ Efforts to Access Public Schools and Higher Education in the United States

  • Alejandra RincónEmail author
Living reference work entry


On September 18, 2017, six undocumented immigrant students filed a lawsuit against the government of President Donald Trump. The lawsuit argues that the government’s decision to end an immigration relief program established by the prior administration had its motivation in racial animus against Mexicans and Latinos. The lawsuit specifically refers to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program signed into law in 2012 by President Obama after significant advocacy from the immigrant community. The case brings to the forefront the multiple limitations that immigration status places on access to education, an issue that has long been the target of multiple cases and lawsuits throughout US history. Whether it be access to public schools, higher education, or the ability to stay in this country to practice their professions, the debate about DACA and the Dreamers illustrates longtime practices by the US government to limit immigration benefits to those seen as deserving of them, criteria that has historically crossed the lines of race, national origin, language, and class. This chapter examines such history and its implications for the immigrant rights’ advocacy movement today.


Advocacy DACA Dreamers Equal protection Illegal Immigrants Segregation Undocumented University 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family and Community Medicine and Office of Diversity and OutreachUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Aletha M. Harven
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Child DevelopmentCalifornia State University, StanislausTurlockUSA

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