In the United States, undocumented students must navigate complex sociopolitical realities to access and succeed in higher education. These complex sociopolitical realities are shaped by federal policies on education and immigration, state-specific legislation on education and public policy, as well as general attitudes regarding race, immigration, and nationalism in the U.S. In this manuscript, I weave in counter-storytelling to document some of the ways one undocumented student accessed and navigated U.S. higher education. I begin by reviewing the national and state policy contexts that affect undocumented students in the U.S. I focus a state policy analysis in Utah, as one example of how national and state policies interact and sometimes contradict one another to impact the ways in which undocumented students navigate higher education. Second, I analyze the existing literature on the barriers undocumented students face in higher education, as well as the emerging literature on undocumented student support services in higher education. Third, I present current higher education programs in U.S. colleges and universities that consider sociopolitical contexts and respond to the particular needs of undocumented students. Finally, I draw implications for improved practice in undocumented student services in higher education.
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Reyna Rivarola, Alonso R. (2017). “Undocumented” ways of navigating complex sociopolitical realities in higher education: A critical race counterstory. Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, 3(1), 101-125. Retrieved from http://ecommons.luc.edu/jcshesa/vol3/iss1/6