Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Sora Friedman, PhD

Second Advisor



Undocumented Mexican and Central American youth, many of whom hold approved or pending Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Central American Minor Refugee and Parole Program (CAM) applications, are a growing population in the United States who are eager to pursue higher education like their U.S. Citizen and U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident peers. Yet, they are significantly limited by federal, state, and institutional policies that are geared towards the success of students with legal status. Through relevant literature and interviews with policy experts and educators who work directly with these youth and/or the regulations that affect them, a better understanding of these U.S. immigration policies is formed, including their advantages, disadvantages, and quickly evolving nature.

Interviews with participants indicated the need to eliminate federal policies that restrict access to financial aid, to expand immigration policies geared toward Mexican and Central American youth, and to improve state and institutional regulations to provide tuition equity and scholarship access to all, regardless of immigration status. Determining ways to legally and ethically integrate Mexican and Central American youth into the immigration and higher education systems, and do so simultaneously, not only benefits these individuals but also U.S. American society by creating a more productive workforce and correcting existing racial and socio-economic imbalances.


Higher Education | Immigration Law | State and Local Government Law

Related Files Margaret E. Tejada - Access, Use, and Publication of Capstone Paper Form.pdf (77 kB)
Access, Use, and Publication Form


Image Location