Effects of Anti-Immigration and Anti-LGBT Policies on K-12 Students

  • Tawannah G. AllenEmail author
Living reference work entry


Education is an important and effective way to level the socioeconomic playing field for children in poverty. Schools have a great responsibility to provide educational opportunities for children, particularly children from impoverished backgrounds, to ensure they become globally competitive, civically oriented, and socially oriented members of society. Recently, anti-immigration and anti-LGBT polices have significantly impacted how states fund, educate, and provide healthcare services for students enrolled in public K-12 schools. These policies often result in American’s most fragile children being left as collateral damage of partisan politics.

This chapter explores the impetus of two policy initiatives which greatly impact the lives of many of America’s vulnerable youth: comprehensive immigration reform and anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) legislations. The first half of the chapter provides a historical perspective on immigration, followed with a description of who are immigrant families and why they migrate to the USA. The anti-immigration section of the chapter concludes with the educational trajectory for undocumented students, the challenges they face in K-12 schools, and ways school leaders can advocate for undocumented families and students.

Also discussed are anti-LGBT legislations and laws, coupled with an overview of LGBT students in K-12 schools, in addition to exclusionary school policies and practices. Finally, the chapter concludes with several effective strategies that teachers, principals, and counselors can use to effectively respond to the needs of undocumented and LGBT students. It should be noted, for the purposes of this discussion, the term “undocumented” (not “illegal immigrant” or “alien”) is used to refer to immigrants living in the USA without the status of citizenship or legal permanent residency.


Anti-immigration policies Anti-LGBT policies DACA H-1B visa HB2 LGBT No promo-homo policies Restorative justice Undocumented youth Visas 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leadership Studies DepartmentHigh Point University, Stout School of EducationHigh PointUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Fenwick English
    • 1
  1. 1.Ball State UniversityMuncieUSA

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