“Who Belongs”: A Critical Race Theory and Latino Critical Theory Analysis of the United States Immigration Climate for Undocumented Latinx College Students
In this conceptual essay, I address the question “Who Belongs” by examining how Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) can inform an understanding of how the U.S. immigration climate relates to undocumented Latinx college students. The following analysis is based on my reflections from conducting a qualitative study examining the experiences of 16 undocumented Latinx college students in the United States. I provide an overview of the current U.S. immigration climate followed by an explanation of CRT and LatCrit. I then offer an analysis of three discussion themes through a CRT and LatCrit lens: problematizing immigration policy and discourse, racist nativism, and interest convergence. Implications are included for how a CRT and LatCrit analysis can guide educator critical engagement with this topic.