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Interactions is based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

Partial funding provided by the UCLA Graduate Students Association

Interviews

Immigrant Education, Social Justice, and the Civil Rights Project: An Interview with Dr. Patricia Gándara and Dr. Gary Orfield

HR-4437 passed the Congress in December of 2005, and among its provisions would make felons out of undocumented immigrants. Subsequently, there has been a flurry of federal and local attempts to increase immigration enforcement under the guise that they are leeching resources from more “deserving” Americans. The following is a conversation with UCLA Professors Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield regarding how the Civil Rights Project (CRP) is looking to focus immigration and education as pressing, contemporary civil rights issues. Professors Gándara and Orfield highlight how researchers can address social inequities by first performing sound, empirical analyses, and then making the academic findings accessible for non-academic audiences to inform public policy.

Articles

A Comparative Analysis of Bangladeshi and Pakistani Educational Attainment in London Secondary Schools

South Asian Muslims, i.e., Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, represent one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the United Kingdom, particularly in the city of London. This paper analyzes the educational achievements and trends of each community and examines factors that may contribute to any observed differences. The research indicates that the educational attainment of Bangladeshi students is comparable to that of Pakistani students in London secondary schools, though the former group is improving at a faster rate despite the greater disadvantages Bangladeshi students face with respect to poverty and English proficiency levels.

One explanation for differential rates of educational improvement between these two communities may be the degree to which these communities are represented on the political level and how responsive schools are to the needs of these communities. Data on teacher ethnicity is limited, though the ethnic composition of local councils, which oversee schools, suggests that Bangladeshis are more involved in political decisions that affect education than Pakistanis.

Another explanation may involve detrimental effects of having multiple minority groups in one school, which Pakistani students face to a greater extent. Bangladeshi students are more isolated from all other minority groups, allowing schools to concentrate on the needs of one population rather than the diverse needs of several groups. To our knowledge, the multiple minority effect has not been examined to date. Given the influx of immigrants to the UK and US from all over the world, this area of exploration has vast opportunities for further research and demands such research to ensure that minority groups are adequately served by schools.

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Residents, Alien Policies, and Resistances: Experiences of Undocumented Latina/o Students in Chicago’s Colleges and Universities

Through the collection of educational oral histories from students in higher education, this research explores the experiences of undocumented Latino students in Chicago to illustrate common factors that enabled this group to be educationally successful despite educational and immigration policies that criminalize every facet of their lives and construct them to be simultaneously extraneous to schooling, but essential to the service economy. In this political moment when the United States is debating the “legitimacy” of amnesty and extending citizenship to those undocumented, and the mainstream media frequently circulates representations of “illegals” with the themes that these individuals are “lazy” or “illegal” and thus undeserving of rights, it is vitally important that the voices and experiences of those undocumented is made visible. In the context where “aiding and abetting” those undocumented was potentially a crime as proposed in the House of Representatives Bill 4437 (The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 or the "Sensenbrenner Bill,") that was passed by the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182, educators cannot afford to ignore immigration policy as an educational issue, and we must connect both educational and immigration policies to the expansion of the punitive branches of our incarceration-nation.

Book Reviews