Illegal. Undocumented. Remedial. DREAMers. All of these labels have been applied to immigrant youth. Using a combination of engaging narrative and rigorous analysis, this bookexplores how immigrant youth are included in, and excluded from, various sectors of American society, including education. Instead of the land of opportunity, immigrant youth often encounter myriad new borders long after their physical journey to the United States is over. With an intimate storytelling style, the author invites readers to rethink assumptions about immigrant youth and what their often liminal positions reveal about the politics of inclusion in America.
Engaging case studies that capture the lived experiences of immigrant youth, from secondary school and beyond.A cohesive analysis of how immigration law, education, and health intertwine to shape possible life pathways.Descriptions of educational practices that both support and disempower newcomer immigrant students.Recommendations for interrupting day-to-day practices that privilege some and disadvantage others.
Lisa (Leigh) Patel is an associate professor of education at Boston College. She has been a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker.
“Over coffee, tears, and laughter, I spent a delightful morning stunned at the beauty of Leigh Patel’s writing and swept up in the pages of Youth Held at the Border, a piercing analysis of how laws move under the skin and penetrate the soul and a tragicomedic musical of young people improvising lives at the dangerous intersection of U.S. immigration, criminalization, education, and welfare policies.”
—From the Foreword by Michelle Fine, Graduate Center, CUNY
“Poignant and insightful. . . . After reading this book it will no longer be possible to use code words like ‘undocumented’ and ‘illegal’ to keep these young people silenced and confined to the shadowy world of fugitives.”
—Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development, Executive Director,Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University
“Lisa Patel is both ethnographer and poet in telling stories of anguish and desperation, but in the end, stories of hope and survival. All teachers, and anyone who cares about the future of our nation, must read this book.”
—Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Massachusetts
“Patel brings into compelling focus and with love young people who are all around us yet not wholly seen. This is an essential read for all educators and for youth, many who will recognize themselves and their peers in her narrative.”
—Susan E. Wilcox, SEW Consulting, community and university educator, writer