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Document Type

Scholarship

Abstract

In recent years, researchers have paid increased attention to the challenges undocumented students face in accessing higher education. However, within this growing field of inquiry, the unique experiences of undocumented students at Jesuit universities have been largely unexamined. Building on the groundbreaking study of the situation of undocumented students at the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, which was published as the Immigrant Student National Position Paper (ISNPP), this article presents findings collected at the University of San Francisco as a part of a university-wide effort to assess the needs of undocumented students on campus. Three key themes emerged from this mixed-method study: (1) social justice is a draw and an anchor for undocumented students, (2) an institutional culture of silence breeds silence as an individual navigational strategy among undocumented students, and (3) unique financial stresses shape feelings of belonging for undocumented students. These themes both corroborate the ISNPP report and build a more nuanced understanding of the undocumented student experience on Jesuit campuses by highlighting the influence of institutional climate on student voice and student experience at the University of San Francisco.

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