While race is a social construct, it has historically been used as a tool to maintain and perpetuate institutional racism that inherently creates social inequities for people of color (Huber, 2010). Nativism is an act of assigning values to perceived real or imagined differences in an attempt to justify superiority of the native, and to validate the “natives” right to superiority at the expense of non-natives (Huber, 2010). According to Huber (2010) racist nativism a conceptual framework researchers use to help them understand how the historical racialization of immigrants of color has shaped their experiences in the U.S. Nativism can be approached in numerous ways, but there are three critical components consistently with in the concept. First, there is usually an intense opposition of the “foreigner,” that leads to the defense and protection of a nationalistic identity, which creates the perception that the “foreigners” are a threat to that nationalistic identity (Huber, 2010). All of which are evident in society when it comes to undocumented students access to higher education.
Huber et al, argue that the legacy of white supremacy not only remains with us today, but profoundly informs our racialized perceptions of a white American identity, whereby white Americans are perceived as native to the U.S. and all others as non-native. (Huber, 2008) The nativist way of thinking is detrimental to undocumented people because it reinforces white supremacy and gives the dominant group the right to exclude, devalued, and maintains white superiority. Which in turn creates and supports the negative discourse about undocumented students and their access to higher education. Policy makers ...
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...ep toward equality, rather than illegitimate pathways to skirting citizenship.
Hate and racial inequalities are historically embedded in the American fabric of life, and until the American public can fully understand the root cause of why immigration continues to exist, immigrants will continue to be the scapegoat for economic anguish in the U.S. Recent events have heightened fear mongering against undocumented immigrants. Anti-immigration rhetoric continues to label undocumented immigrants as though they have committed the most heinous crimes. How mainstream America views undocumented immigrants also inform how undocumented individuals make meaning of their legal status. In “Trump’s America” people are fearful of what they truly do not know, and regardless of the truth, they continue to invoke images of millions of immigrants crossing our borders and taking jobs.
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