Undocumented, Studious, But Pessimistic: Perspectives of Undocumented Latino Students in Chicago

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Chicago Law And Education Foundation


The ongoing debate over the Dream Act continues to complicate the legal status of undocumented youth in the United States. To illuminate this problem, this study explored the perspectives of undocumented Latino youth at a largely immigrant Chicago Public High School. Students were surveyed about their perspectives on academic engagement, work ethic and success, as well as their optimism about and plans for the future. The results demonstrate that undocumented students are significantly more engaged in their education, but also more pessimistic about their future. They also want to become US citizens, and plan on staying in the US as undocumented adults if they are unable to complete college.



undocumented students, Chicago, students experience, student expectation