Essay about What Does It Mean? America, And Who Does The American Dream Apply?

Essay about What Does It Mean? America, And Who Does The American Dream Apply?

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What does it mean to be undocumented in America, and who does the American Dream apply to? The American dream is an authoritative tenet, shaping general beliefs and attitudes regarding hard work and opportunity. There has to be a magical key to the land of opportunity, therefore, citizenship is the practical site of a theoretical existence, in that it allows for the reproduction of a variety of kinds of law in everyday life. The history of U.S. immigrant rights and exclusions, is thus tied up with desires to control the conditions under which certain populations would be “free” to perform labor in the United States without access to many of the privileges citizens had (like the right to vote, legal standing, drivers license, etc.) (Burgett, 2014) Next, can be the incorporation of the right to education, once K-12, now access to institutions of higher education leading to paths to citizenship. As stated in the essay by Lauren Berlant, there is a contradiction between the sovereignty of abstract citizens and the everyday lives of embodied subjects who are also working towards a democratic collective. (44) Accordingly, it is imperative to search the ways in which policy has shaped the undocumented students opportunities in the United States, and how does this population navigate their way through the boundaries keeping them from succeeding in a country they call home.
In this paper I examine what it mean to be “American” as an undocumented being, especially in a country that has such a rigid definition. How do the undocumented, especially students, fit into America? What part do they play, and do they “belong” even if it is the only place they have ever lived. The terms illegal alien, illegal immigrants, illegals, undocumented worke...


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...children out of school would lock them into the lowest socioeconomic class. While some may have seen this legislation as a step in the right direction for undocumented peoples, the struggle for educational fairness and opportunity for Latina/o’s continues to persist. As an undocumented youth continue to receive an education that is supposedly geared toward their civic participation, it does not account for the fact that they are unable to fully participate in that society. Regardless of the passage of Plyler, immigration legislation and anti-immigration policies specifically targeting the Latino population have been passed. Which is why legislation, for example the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) need to be passed in order to create access to jobs, education and security.

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