DACAmented Latina Students’ Testimonios About Their Educational Journey Against the Backdrop of Racist Nativist Discourse in Washington State

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Department or Administrative Unit

World Languages

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During the anti-immigration climate of the Trump administration rooted in racist nativist rhetoric, the feeling of vulnerability became palpable for Undocumented and DACAmented students. Racist nativism, however, is not a new phenomenon; it existed long before the Trump Effect. This study presents the testimonios of seven Undocumented and DACAmented Latinas as they grow up in central and eastern regions of Washington State. These testimonios reflect the lived experiences in the intersections of racism, nativism, and classism. A LatCrit framework with an analysis of racist nativism is used to illustrate the ways racism intersects with other facets of discrimination as these students navigate their high school and college educational trajectories. Using this framework provides a window for understanding how K-16 educators normalized and legitimized racist nativist discourses during the period of 2000 to 2010. This study also highlights the ideological complexities as these discourses intersect racism, nativism, and classism. Finally, this study calls for policies to address racist nativist discourses in the educational system and address Undocumented and DACAmented students’ educational needs, primarily to mitigate the negative impact of the last four years’ extreme political rhetoric on this vulnerable but empowered group.


This article was originally published in Journal of Latinos and Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Latinos and Education