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Making and becoming the Undocumented and the Illegal: Discourses of immigration and American higher education policy

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Published: 2017-03-27

Author

Ryan Evely Gildersleeve

University of Denver

Keywords: discourse; immigration; policy

Abstract

This paper discursively analyzes the public conversation around immigration as it intra-sects with state and federal policy, particularly in relation to higher education. I take in-state resident tuition policy as a departure point for an interpretive effort to explain how “undocumented” and “illegal” subject positions are produced through intra-secting policy texts, popular journalism, and presidential campaigns. I illustrate how the ethics produced through this policy regime act pedagogically, mediating understandings of students becoming reified into “undocumented” and/or “illegal” identities. I pay special attention to the discursive productions made available from policy texts, both state-based (e.g., CA Dream Act) and federal (e.g., DACA), highlighting the use of discourse analysis in the interrogation of social policy.

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Author Biography

Ryan Evely Gildersleeve

University of Denver

Ryan Evely Gildersleeve is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Higher Education in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. His research interrogates the philosophical foundations and social contexts of tertiary education, with particular interests in supporting Latino (im)migrant communities’ struggles for educational opportunity. He is the author of Fracturing Opportunity: Mexican Migrant Students and College-going Literacy (Peter Lang), and he was a 2012-2014 National Academy of Education Post-doctoral Fellow. 

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Published: 2017-03-27

How to Cite

Gildersleeve, R. E. (2017). Making and becoming the Undocumented and the Illegal: Discourses of immigration and American higher education policy. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 31. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2286