Giving Voice To the Voiceless: Academic Experiences of Undocumented, Hispanic Students of Texas State University
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This exploratory study used a qualitative research methodology to examine the academic and life experiences of undocumented Hispanic students at Texas State University-San Marcos. Data were collected from thirty individuals from two non-random samples: student participants (n=6) who were undocumented Hispanic-origin undergraduate students as well as key informants (n=24) who were faculty, staff and administrators. For the student participants, a semi-structured interview format was used, while for key informants, informal conversations were used. Both groups were identified using a combined snowball and purposive sampling method. This study is important since it addresses an apparent gap in the scholarly literature investigating this vulnerable population. Undocumented students are facing significant challenges in the current social, political, and economic climate in the U.S., including proposed immigration restrictions and the failure to implement the DREAM Act. Given the potential risks to this group and using a social justice model, it is important to give voice to their experiences.