Immigration and Education in the “Supposed Land of Opportunity”: Youth Perspectives on Living and Learning in the United States

  • Irizarry J
  • Kleyn T
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Abstract

Centering the voices of immigrant youth, this qualitative study seeks to understand how students navigate living and learning in a new country, as well as the meaning they assign to their experiences. Areas of importance to immigrant youth, including the disruption of family and the sociopolitical context of education, are explored. While the realities immigrant students confront in schools are often problematic, they also exert agency, and examples of the adolescents' fervent commitment to their education are also shared, alongside the challenges they face, to provide a more accurate and robust portrait of these students. Drawing from the students' experiences, the authors discuss the implications of this work for educators and policy makers. The article ends with a call to educators to stand in solidarity with their immigrant students to provide understanding, as well as critical and rigorous learning contexts that prepare them to reach their full potential.

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Authors

  • Jason G Irizarry

  • Tatyana Kleyn

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