As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is that I was taking the time to reflect upon my previous thoughts, where I was left wondering about the success rates of students vs. the higher enrolment rates of students. Why was there no consistency with the numbers? It turns out that there are actual discrepancies with the statistics, because millions of Hispanic/ Latino/a students who attend Post-Secondary education are not included in the surveys or questionnaires. Students don't participate because of their legal status. Whilst students gain much of the same opportunities at the K-12 level , the Post-Secondary picture is quite different. There are challenges to entry, applications, grades, and so on, but at this level the Hispanic / Latino / a community can be grouped into who has, legal status and citizenship, and who is undocumented. What differs the most is the financial factor. Students normally apply for federal funding, but students who are undocumented do not gain this opportunity. Students who live in the following 10 states: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (Diaz-Strong et al., 2010), do get the opportunity to apply for in-state tuition, as these states have taken it upon themselves to allow undocumented students to quality for tuition, regardless of their immigration status. However, even if these students apply, attend, and graduate, again it is very unlikely that they will participate in success surveys, because of their legal status. So we can see a connection between the statistics about success rates of Hispanic / Latino/a students, and immigration status. The results are already inaccurate because they don't include the millions of undocumented students who: work hard and persist to complete their courses. Whilst at the k-12 level the financial factor is not as much of a burden, at the higher education level, the narrative shifts because of legal status.
Immigration status plays a part in the success of students, and who gains access to services. Whilst the DREAM Act was established to provide some sort of pathway to citizenship, opportunity, and accessibility for undocumented individuals, this act is not a viable solution. In other words it is a type of patchwork, to some sort of accessibility and support. For true equity to arise for the undocumented individuals, many who have been living in the United States of America for years, their needs to be pathways towards citizenship. If we simply deport, or allow individuals to remain undocumented, there is much more harm being done to the health of America and the national economy. At this point an important reminder is that many undocumented Hispanic / Latino/a students are actually born in the U.S., but also decide not to disclose legal status to protect their parents and family members.
The National Centre for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE), has stated that "If the current population trends continue and states do not improve the education for all racial / ethnic groups, the skills of the workforce and the incomes of U.S. residents are projected to decline over the next few decades." (Diaz-Strong et al, 2010, p. 115). The "white" working population will decrease and the Latino / Hispanic working population will rise. Education is one of the top indicators of GDP (Gross Domestic Produce), of how well a nation is performing, this success of this indicator is also at risk because of the racial inequities. In other words leaving out chunks of the population will eventually end up hurting the economy, the effectiveness of a nation, National and global competitiveness, and the GDP success indicators as well.
Now I am not saying that these issues have to be solved as of tomorrow, but I am setting a tone to alert law makers, politicians, and all who possess the power to think about effective solutions, that for education equity, there must be immigration reform. You have to do something about these issues. Where the undocumented who have been living in America for years, individuals who are are or were protected through The DREAM Act, or DACA recipients are granted pathways to citizenship. It seems an utter shame that educated specialists have done nothing to come up with effective solutions for immigration, or even to amend existing law acts. The lack of action and the fact that this type of inequity has existed for years is a complete contradiction to what the American Dream stands for, and even for the health, well-being, and prosperity of the nation of America. There must be solutions for these segments of the populations. We must maintain and keep the American Dream alive, and these means to evolve, and to strive to make progress that is inclusive.
My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on April 20th, 2018.
Reference: Strong-Diaz, D., Gomez. C., Luna-Duarte. E., M., Meiners., R. E. (2010). Purged: Undocumented Students, Financial Aid Policies, and Access to Higher Eduction. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. 10 (2), 107 - 119.