The Liminality of Being: The Obfuscation of Race on Scholarship of Undocumented Students in Public Education
Artap, Marie Joyce
Plyer v. Doe (1982) provided undocumented youth access to public education, and in delivering the opinion of the court, Justice William Brennan quoted the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education, saying, “Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. … It is the very foundation of good citizenship” (quoted in Plyer v. Doe, 1982). Much has been written to nuance our understanding of citizenship as more than just legal status in the United States. While many scholars have addressed how the cultural citizenship and liminal legality of undocumented students is a way to frame access to education, less has been written about the racialized experiences of undocumented youth within schooling institutions. This paper aims to consider how race is obscured in the literature and to make the case for scholarship that more intentionally develops an intersectional critique of how racism, immigration, and education collude to impact the experiences of undocumented students.