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Leadership with and for Undocumented and Unaccompanied Minor Students: Resiliency, Resistance, and School Change for Racial Equity

by Joseph T. Wiemelt & Lucia Maldonado - 2018

This chapter will examine the role of leadership for institutional change and racial equity as it relates to supporting undocumented and unaccompanied minor students in PK–1-12 schools. By utilizing Latin@ critical race theory (LatCrit), we will explore how the intersection of race and immigration influences how these students experience school. We will uncover the challenges and systemic oppression that students face while also highlighting the various forms of resilience and resistance that these students exhibit. By highlighting one school district, we will provide examples of what educational leaders can do to support undocumented and unaccompanied students and lead to institutional changes that result in creating more welcoming, supportive, and equitable schools and communities.


As student demographics in United States (U.S.) public schools continue to shift, educational issues of race, immigration, and racial equity for immigrant students remain critical. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2014), from Fall 2002 through Fall 2012, the number of white students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools decreased from 28.6 million to 25.4 million, and their share of public school enrollment decreased from 59% to 51%. While currently, it is estimated that 45 million (or about 14%) of all U.S. residents are foreign born, it is also projected that by 2050, more than one third of the nations schoolchildren younger than 17 will either be immigrants themselves or the children of at least one parent who is an immigrant. Thus, the role that schools play is essential to the well-being of students and the future of American schools.

Although immigration in the U.S. is not a new phenomenon, the current wave of increased immigration has created diverse, heterogeneous groups of recent arrivals, both in traditional and new destinations for immigrants. Moreover, since the 1990s, across states and especially in new immigrant destinations such as suburbia, small-town areas, the South, and the Southeast, there has been growing debate about how to educate and integrate the children of immigrants (Wortham, Murillo, & Hamann, 2002).

The diverse new immigrant populations consist of over 80% who originate from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, while the remaining originate from Europe or North America. This migratory flow is a significant factor in the U.S. becoming the first high-income country in the world with a child population that is predominately composed of students of color (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2009). As such, it is important to acknowledge that not all immigrants experience U.S. schools in similar ways, as factors such as country of origin, race, native language, socioeconomic status, religion, and other minoritized identities influence the racialized experiences of kids in schools. For example, Mexicans, Guatemalans, and African Latinos from low-income households experience extreme prejudice in comparison to other Latin American immigrants. Thus, it is important to emphasize the role of oppression and privilege even within immigrant groups from similar regions of the world.

Trends in immigrant youth enrollment in U.S. public schools also include students from a variety of different backgrounds and circumstances as it relates to immigrant status, ranging from visiting scholars to families on work visas to families and children with undocumented status. Of course, these various backgrounds, as stated previously, shape the experiences that students face in U.S. schools. Undocumented status affects more than 1 million children today, approximately one third of all immigrant youth. Another 4.5 million U.S.-born youth have an undocumented parent. As such, children in U.S. schools face a variety of institutional barriers related to issues of immigration, often related to the intersection of xenophobia, racism, classism, fears of deportation, and various other forms of intersecting oppressions. Many youth, especially from low socioeconomic backgrounds, both documented and undocumented, face increasing barriers to educational opportunities. As such, it is evident that being undocumented or the child of an undocumented parent, especially of overlapping minoritized identities, can negatively impact a childs development and educational success as schools are frequently unequipped to equitably serve them well (Tamer, 2014).

An additional layer of complexity to the issues of immigrant education is the surge of unaccompanied minors from Mexico and the Central American Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. From 20132014, an increase of 90% growth of unaccompanied minors fleeing dangerous living conditions resulted in an increase of students coming to U.S. schools with particular experiences of trauma and oftentimes interrupted formal schooling patterns. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of Central American unaccompanied children (UACs) and family unitsparents traveling with young childrenwho arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border increased rapidly, reaching a peak of 137,000 in fiscal year 2014. While many of these migrant children have valid claims for asylum or other forms of humanitarian relief, others are chiefly driven by economic concerns and a desire to reconnect with family members (Zong & Batalova, 2015).

Immigrant children often arrive with a strong sense of hope and optimism (Gándara & Contreras, 2009; Gibson, 1988; Kao, 2004; Kao & Tienda, 1995; Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001) and a dedication to school; over time, however, many immigrant youth, both those enrolling in underperforming schools as well as those enrolling in traditionally high performing schools, face negative odds and uncertain prospects (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, Sattin-Bajaj, 2010). All too often, immigrant students leave schools without developing and mastering the higher-order skills, communication, and cultural sensibilities needed in todays global economy and society. Simultaneously, immigrant students are also extremely resilient and incredible assets to the school communities in which they reside (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Sattin-Bajaj, 2010). Therefore, the role that schools play in fostering equitable schools for immigrant youth to excel is essential.

In order to frame our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with equitably serving immigrant students, we examine educational issues as they intersect with race and racism, xenophobia, and linguicism in schools. Hence, we selected Latin@ critical race theory (LatCrit) as our guiding framework. This examination will be followed by a discussion of school leadership practices that hold promise to generate more equitable schooling for undocumented youth. We will specifically highlight one schools approach to equitably serve immigrant students. We emphasize that school leadership is more than just the role of a formal leader, such as a school principal. Rather, leadership for immigrant students encompasses educators who serve as institutional agents, community organizations, and the students and families themselves. Taken together, we aim to shed light on the important work that educators must commit to in order to serve immigrant students as they deserve.


In order to analyze effective educational practices that foster equity in our school communities where immigrant youth flourish and succeed, we first situate our analysis from a framework of LatCrit in education, which derives from critical race theory (CRT). After over a decade of situating the salience of race in legal studies and conversations, Bell (1995) asked us, Whos Afraid of Critical Race Theory? and further, he challenged us to think of what CRT ought to be (p. 898). The roots of CRT can be traced to law, ethnic studies, U.S. third-world feminism, Marxism/neo-Marxism, cultural nationalism, and internal colonialism (Bell, 1995; Willis, 2008). Specifically, scholars in the field of Critical Legal Studies brought the pervasiveness of race and racism to the forefront of discussions of critical theory; however, these scholars did not necessarily provide comprehensive strategies for social transformation (West, 1993). In this chapter we will use the ways in which CRT is outlined by Matsuda, Lawrence, Delgado, and Crenshaw (1993) and Ladson-Billings and Tate (1995) to further understand the narratives surrounding class, race, immigration, and the education of children of color that were circulated in the U.S. (Lynn & Parker, 2006). CRT in education has been utilized as a framework to reveal how structures of oppression mediate the everyday realities of people of color and how those communities challenge and resist that oppression.

CRT and LatCrit encompass the same issues, assumptions, and ideologies; however LatCrit explicitly addresses issues related to the resistance, oppression, and challenges faced by Latin@s. LatCrit informs CRT because of its insistence that questions of language, culture, and nation are inextricably intertwined with questions of race (Espinoza & Harris, 1997, p. 1). LatCrit examines racialized layers of subordination based on immigration status, sexuality, phenotype, accent, and surname (Yosso, 2006, p. 7). Thus, LatCrit theorists work on the premise that racism is not always just about race but about coercive relations of power, white privilege, and white supremacy over Latin@s. More particularly, LatCrit explores the impact that white supremacy has on Latin@s in their individual and collective fight for social justice and self-awareness. LatCrit is a theory that elucidates Latin@s multidimensional identities and can address the intersectionality of racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression (Solorzano & Yosso, 2001).

Education scholars are reshaping and extending CRT and LatCrit in different ways; however, LatCrit has not made its way into K12 education as frequently as it should (Elenes & Delgado Bernal, 2010). As explained previously, the challenge with critical scholarship in K12 education is the fact that schools have been, and continue to be, used as vehicles for assimilation to the majoritarian, white middle class standard of schools (Irizarry, 2011). Elenes and Delgado Bernal challenge LatCrit scholars to address the limitations of such implementation of frameworks in education in order to continue to challenge hegemonic ways of schooling. In taking on the challenge brought forth by Gloria Ladson-Billings and William Tate, educational researchers must continue to utilize and challenge CRT/LatCrit as frameworks to contest the systemic injustices faced by students of color within schools and offer ways to ensure school transformation.


The role of school leadership is essential when considering educational equity for immigrant youth. For this purpose, we emphasize the incorporation of LatCrit/CRT when analyzing school leadership practices. We pull from scholars who have explored LatCrit/CRT and leadership, such as applied critical leadership (Santamaría & Santamaría, 2015), critical bilingual leadership (Wiemelt & Welton, 2015), school funding inequities in educational leadership (Alemán, 2009) and several others (López, 2003; Parker & Shapiro, 1992).

Scholarship on educational leadership and LatCrit/CRT challenges us to approach school leadership with a race-consciousness committed to dismantling inequitable practices towards institutional change. Additionally, a race-conscious approach to school leadership moves beyond colorblind and race-neutral policies and practices, those which are applied broadly to all students and ultimately maintain existing structures and practices that continue to privilege white, middle-class, English-speaking and nonimmigrant youth (Bonilla-Silva, 2004). Rather, in order to foster the educational spaces where immigrant students can thrive, we have to take intentional steps to create school policies and practices that are specific to serving immigrant students, or race-consciousness beyond just the acknowledgment of outcome gaps that are racialized; more importantly, we need to acknowledge the ways in which our educational institutions are structurally racist and do not meet the unique needs and strengths of students of color (Bonilla-Silva, 2004; Welton, Diem, & Holme, 2015).

There are many examples of colorblind educational practices that do not take into account the unique identities of immigrant youth. Those include traditional English-only academic programs that are not responsive to the linguistic identities and needs of immigrant youth (García, 2009); K12 tracking and limited access to Advanced Placement classes that, even when schools have bilingual programming in place, are usually only offered in English (Valenzuela, 1999); predominately white and monolingual teachers who are underprepared to serve immigrant youth with culturally and linguistically responsive content area instruction (García, 2009; Walqui, 2006); discipline policies that are racially and culturally normed on American schooling experiences that many immigrant youth are not accustomed to; limited opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities due to the fees associated with participation, limited transportation, after school jobs and other responsibilities (Gándara & Gibson, 2004); unaddressed concerns related to social and emotional health of immigrant students, many of whom who have experienced trauma or culture shock through the immigration process and being new to the country (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001); narrow and limited approaches to family engagement that many times do not take into account the work schedules of immigrant families, cultural norms of teacher and family dynamics, linguistic barriers, status differences, and fear of deportation (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001); and a limited approach or focus on the transition to postsecondary opportunities (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008).

While these colorblind policies can exist in schools that serve a newer growth of immigrant student populations, it is also understood that even in communities where immigrants have long resided that schools often act as vehicles for assimilation (Irizarry, 2011) rather than transformative and vibrant educational spaces for immigrant students. It is in all types of school communities where colorblind policies and practices go unchallenged and continue to privilege white, middle-class, and monolingual students while maintaining systemic racist and xenophobic barriers to educational success and access to postsecondary preparation for many immigrant youth and students of color.

Schools and educational leaders that are intentional in their approach to serving immigrant students are necessary to institutional change. Bartlett & García (2012) found such a school community that was founded by and for Latin@ immigrants with a particular focus on being culturally and linguistically responsive to the Dominican population of a New York City neighborhood. Some of the key lessons learned from this school in regards to institutional change included the following: school practices planned by and for Latin@ immigrants; an engaged staff dedicated to immigrant youth personally and politically; principal leadership that was committed to the school being a place reflective of the broader community and committed to meeting the unique needs and strengths of immigrant youth; a focus on developing close and warm relationships built on transcaring and confianza1 between educators and students; providing authentic opportunities for immigrant parents to be a part of the school; bilingual programming focused on developing youth as young bilinguals and not just focusing on English only; and a commitment to school counselors who are focused on transitions to postsecondary education (Bartlett & García, 2012). Ultimately, focusing on institutional policies and practices that pay specific attention to the educational, linguistic, social, and emotional needs of immigrant students is essential (Gándara & Contreras 2009).

Lastly, many studies have highlighted the role of institutional agents, or key personnel or students in the schools that have been both formal and informal leaders for immigrant students. It is not only the school principal, rather it is a secretary, a family liaison, or the students themselves who are leading with and for their immigrant students. As such, as we will see in the case of Urbana School District 116, both school personnel and students are leading the way for immigrant student success, as well as the broader community organizations committed to social justice across the community.


In this section we highlight the areas of institutional change in Urbana School District 116 (USD116). USD116 is a PKAdult Education public school district in East Central Illinois. The district serves approximately 4,500 students across 12 school buildings, including an early childhood center, six elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, one adult education center, and one child welfare and educational services agency that provides special education and residential treatment. The student demographics include 71% low-income, 13% English language learners, 18% students with disabilities, 36% White, 36% Black, 12% Latin@, 6% Asian, 9% Multiracial, and 1% Pacific Islander and Native American. Approximately 15% of students annually are immigrant students, including documented, undocumented, and unaccompanied minors. Over the past 10 years, the school district has worked to implement a variety of both formal and informal practices in order to ensure immigrant students and families have equitable opportunities to learn and thrive. These areas of institutional change are broadly discussed and implemented across the following themes: academic programming, school and community partnerships, transitions to postsecondary education, and immigrant student leadership.


Across the district, academic programming is developed around the needs and strengths of the immigrant community. The district has historically had an English as a second language program with native-language instruction across a variety of home languages. Up until the last decade, the districts immigrant population was primarily composed of international families with the local university, many whom were visiting scholars or graduate students, primarily of middle-class backgrounds. In contrast, the most recent changes in the immigrant population have included a more permanent immigrant population, including documented, undocumented, and unaccompanied minors, many from low-income backgrounds and some with interrupted formal schooling patterns.

Thus, with the change in student demographics, the district has changed its academic programming to more closely mirror the students and families. Since the new growth communities are Latin@ families from Mexico and Guatemala and African families from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the academic programming shifted to be more culturally and linguistically responsive to these new communities.

The district has shifted their ESL programming to dual-language immersion models: long-term and dynamic forms of bilingual education aimed to foster academic achievement, bilingualism, and multiculturalism. With this shift, immigrant students are continuing to learn in their native languages while also acquiring English through integrated and inclusive classrooms with their peers. The district has moved away from pull-out and socioculturally isolated program models to more inclusive and integrated models of bilingual education. All teachers who work as the primary teachers for immigrant students are bilingually trained; approximately 70% of bilingual teachers are teachers of color and grew up bilingual, closely matching the demographics of immigrant students in our schools; and all educators continue to receive training in culturally responsive approaches with a focus on newly arrived immigrant youth. These types of training include a wide range of areas, including instruction and assessment practices built upon translanguaging and dynamic bilingualism frameworks2 for teachers; social emotional supports and understanding the various forms of trauma that students may experience through their migration for teachers, social workers, and administrators; as well as understanding particular cultural nuances that may affect the relationship connection between staff, students and families.

Additionally, the district has implemented a unified professional development plan related to racial equity in USD116 for the past year and a half. Through this professional development, all district employees attend monthly sessions focused upon building foundational understanding and language related to issues of racial oppression and privilege. As such, educators continuously reflect upon their role individually and as part of a school district in dismantling inequitable practices and being equity conscious in their work as educators. This work has helped educators think about serving undocumented and unaccompanied minors in responsive ways.


As school demographics have shifted, our approach to serving students beyond the traditional roles of teaching and learning has also shifted. The importance of community partnerships with schools is critical, especially as it relates to serving immigrant youth. One of the key areas of community partnership is our collaboration with the local immigration community agencies. We specifically have working collaborative partnerships with the local Immigration Forum, the Immigration Project, and the Immigrant and Refugee Center. The Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum is a group of immigrants, students, clergy, service providers, labor union representatives, residents, and community organizations concerned about the progress and plight of immigrants in the Champaign County community (http://immigration-forum.blogspot.com/). Quite often, many unaccompanied minors have been out of school for several years before their arrival. Frequently, students arrive without a birth certificate and photo ID; thus, one of the most recent educational practices we implemented with the Immigration Forum was in collaboration with the Mexican and Guatemalan consulates. In collaboration, we have been able to bring the consulates to Urbana so that students and families can access any missing documents.

The Forum has been instrumental in the last 4 years in assisting immigrant students who qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Urbana. After the activation of the DACA program in 2012, our school district organized two legal workshops with the Immigration Forum to provide information and assist families and students with their applications to the program. Most recently, with the rescinding of DACA by the Trump Administration, USD116 has provided additional workshops for families in response to the recent federal policy changes. Knowing the legal responsibilities these students have to comply with, we collaborate with the Immigration Forum to organize a list of volunteer drivers to provide transportation to Chicago for legal appointments for each individual student. We also have a fund managed by the Immigration Forum to benefit unaccompanied minors attending Urbana schools. The collected funds have been used to cover medical needs, buy medicine for a sick student, clothes and shoes for new arrivals, gas money to volunteer drivers, Chicago parking, legal evaluations, food, eye exams and glasses, among many other areas. The school district also developed a uniformed letter to comply with one of the main requirements on the DACA application, providing students with a certified record of their years at USD116. Students receive all those services free of charge at the school.

Our collaboration with Immigration Project (The Project), a group of immigration attorneys, provides access to quality legal services in Central and Southern Illinois and individual consultation and evaluation services at an extremely low cost. The Project is used in the school district to organize legal clinics to provide information, resources, and an overview of the legal system in U.S. and Illinois. Unaccompanied minors who cannot be represented by attorneys from the Immigration Project are channeled to other low-cost legal centers. Most unaccompanied minors arrive here after spending weeks in detention centers or shelters. Many of them arrive empty handed and with heavy burdens on their shoulders. As a school district, in collaboration with these community partners, we provide assistance to cover medical needs at the school health center. If medical needs cannot be met at the school clinic, we work with Champaign-Urbana Health Care Consumers to find the best provider to fulfill the need.

The Refugee Center is another local agency that works in collaboration with our school district. The Refugee Center exists to provide services essential to refugee and immigrant resettlement in East Central Illinois and to aid in the exchange and preservation of their respective cultures. The center provides individual support and advocacy on behalf of newly arrived immigrants and refugees.

In collaboration with the community agencies, we are able to provide the support services that are necessary for immigrant students to not only enroll in school but have a greater opportunity to succeed. These undocumented and unaccompanied minors come to our community seeking an opportunity to be a typical student; thus, the ways in which we can provide a smoother transition to school are essential.


An overlooked approach to serving immigrant students is preparing them for matriculation to postsecondary opportunities. One of our family liaisons, a critical institutional agent, is also a member of the Bilingual Advisory Committee at Parkland, the local community college in town. They meet every month to share information about challenges and successes that immigrant students are facing and new supports needed to ease those challenges. They work to create an easier path for students to transition from high school to college. Much of their great progress in the access immigrant Latin@ students have at Parkland is because of the information shared at the advisory committee. Almost all of the immigrant students attending USD116 are considering Parkland after high school mainly because of the cost but also because of the connections that have been built between the school district and the community college. There is also a collaborative effort with La Casa Cultural Latina, a cultural house on campus at the University of Illinois, which mainly provides information and resources to our students through I-Cause (http://open.illinois.edu/student-profiles/), a coalition of students and staff at the university.

Additionally, as a school district we initiate scholarship nights where students learn about the process to research and apply for scholarships. This is particularly important for students who do not qualify for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), such as undocumented and unaccompanied minors. We organize a senior college visit to Parkland every year. During the visit, Parkland provides an inside tour to expose our students to actual classrooms, labs, and other learning areas. Students also receive information about ways to finance college and a clear description of costs related to a year as a full-time student at Parkland. While many of these initiatives are not necessarily out of the ordinary for some school districts, the intentional outreach and connection to immigrant students has created an excellent support system for students to matriculate to postsecondary opportunities at higher rates.


One of the most critical areas of fostering school communities where immigrant students feel welcomed and supported is the way in which students sense of belonging is cared for in unique and responsive ways. Because immigrant students are oftentimes forced to subtract from who they are in order to assimilate to the school and community, we have focused on ways to ensure that their unique, hybrid identities are fostered and cared for. We have found that their fellow students support each other in the most authentic and caring ways. We have noticed how much assistance these students provide to new arrivals during their first days of school. The leadership and resiliency that students can show each other is paramount to students feeling they are a part of and connected to school. Oftentimes, students who have been in the U.S. longer provide the best peer support to new arrivals. Many students are from the same areas in Guatemala; thus, they may have had similar experiences growing up and similar reasons for migrating to the U.S. However, their experiences after crossing the border may be different based on the Resettlement Center that housed them while waiting for release. The conditions for their release and the motives for a sponsor to help assisted in shaping their similar lived experiences. Thus, at school, the support they offer to each other and to the newest arrivals is a form of leadership that sometimes goes unnoticed. It is like each one of them knows how much they had to risk to get here so they understand what the others went through, so they bond, and form a connection of support with and for each other.

One of the most recent initiatives that started at Urbana High School is a podcast project with many of the unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, who are Mayan and speak Qanjobal as their native language as well as Spanish, and three professors from the University of Illinois. The students participate in workshops during the school day related to documenting their stories through podcasting and creating safe spaces to talk with each other from student to student about their experiences as immigrant youth, as well as opportunities to engage with each other while developing Mayan poetry and literature through the technology provided. An additional goal of this project is to create opportunities for students to connect with each other and develop skills to support one another as young unaccompanied minors and immigrant youth.

Additional opportunities continue to be discussed across the district about how to create spaces for students to support each other in formal, leadership opportunities through the schools. As such, this type of institutional change allows for an intentional focus on meeting the needs and building upon the unique strengths that our immigrant students bring.   


When exploring the role that racial equity plays in education, it is critical for educators to analyze the ways in which immigrant students face intersecting forms of racial, xenophobic, and linguistic oppression. As such, we utilized LatCrit theory to help us understand how systemic and institutionalized practices in schools privilege white, monolingual students and further marginalize bilingual immigrant students of color. In addition to acknowledging and critiquing the status quo practices in schools, this chapter sought to utilize LatCrit theory to provide strategies and practices that create institutional changes that are equitable for immigrant students. Thus, this chapter provides critical implications for school leaders who are serving immigrant students by first and foremost approaching their leadership from a race conscious and intentional commitment to school transformation with and for undocumented youth.

Moreover, the purpose of this chapter was to contextualize how approaches to racial equity and institutional change in schools can foster more inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environments to both undocumented and documented immigrants, as well as unaccompanied minors and refugee students. By exploring the educational literature on effective schooling for immigrant youth and highlighting the case of USD116, we shed light on the ways in which racial equity and institutional change can be operationalized for immigrant youth in schools today. Several key institutional changes were necessary to foster equitable schooling for immigrant youth across the following themes: educators who are race conscious, culturally and linguistically responsive, and prepared to work with immigrant students across all areas of schooling; a strong commitment to family engagement that encompasses academics, social, emotional, and political support; academic programming that is built upon strong principles of dynamic bilingualism and holistic linguistic development; an ongoing commitment of the broader community to advocate with and for immigrant youth and families; a commitment to strengthening postsecondary matriculation; and strong student leadership opportunities to build upon their resiliency and aspirations.

Perhaps the greatest implication of this chapter is the importance of school leadership, and school leadership preparation programs, for institutional change for equitable schools for immigrant youth. The preparation and development of educational leaders to be race conscious and understand what is needed to support and affirm immigrant students and families is key to the success of these students. It is essential for school leaders to understand the complex situations that immigrant students experience across race and racism, language and linguicism, and other intersecting forms of oppression in order to foster school policies and practices that are intentional in their approach to meeting the needs and building on the strengths of these students.

During the current wave of overt xenophobia and white nationalism, much of which has gained additional traction as part of President Trumps political campaigning and racialized rhetoric about immigration reform, todays political climate has fueled a hostile environment for immigrants and refugees built on the beliefs that immigrant populations are burdensome and problems to deal with. At the same time, many American community organizations and schools and the general public have also stood up to embrace, support, and foster institutional changes that create more equitable opportunities for our newest Americans. Thus, the implications for educators working in schools with undocumented immigrant youth are of extreme importance in this moment in American history.


1. Transcaring and confianza are particular ways of caring about immigrant students that take into account their unique hybrid and multidimensional identities across race, language, and immigration status.

2. Translanguaging and dynamic bilingualism frameworks view students across their entire linguistic repertoire, rather than viewing them from a monolingual, English-only, and/or deficit lens.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 14, 2018, p. 1-16
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22386, Date Accessed: 10/18/2021 9:35:00 AM

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About the Author
  • Joseph Wiemelt
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    E-mail Author
    JOSEPH T. WIEMELT, Ed.D. is currently the Director of Equity & Secondary Bilingual Programs for Urbana School District #116 in Urbana, Illinois, and Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Wiemelt’s research interests include the intersection of critical race theory, school leadership, and bilingual education. Most recently, Dr. Wiemelt has been selected as an English Language Specialist with the U.S. Department of State and Georgetown University. Recent publications include: Wiemelt, J., & Velazquez, M. (under review). El querer es poder: Consejos for White educational leaders working in new growth Latina/o communities. Journal of Latinos in Education; and Bauer, E. B., Colomer, S., & Wiemelt, J. (in press). Biliteracy of African American and Latinas/os in a kindergarten dual language program: Understanding students’ translanguaging practices across informal assessments. Urban Education.
  • Lucia Maldonado
    Urbana School District
    E-mail Author
    LUCIA MALDONADO is currently the Latino Family Liaison for Urbana School District #116 in Urbana, Illinois. Lucia works with parents and students, forming support networks to help strengthen the relationship between school and home. Lucia’s interest include initiatives that promote collaborative relationships among schools, community resources, and families. Lucia also works with unaccompanied immigrant children, developing support systems to help these students feel safe and connected to the educational system and the community.
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