CSII Publications

Aspiring Americans: Undocumented Youth Leaders in California

Veronica Terriquez, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California
Caitlin Patler, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, University of California Los Angeles

June 2012

Written by USC’s Veronica Terriquez and UCLA’s Caitlin Patler, Aspiring Americans: Undocumented Youth Leaders in California posited that among the 1.1 million undocumented children and young adults in Los Angeles, those involved in immigrant youth organizations have a great inclination towards civic leadership.

The report collected data from 410 undocumented California youth who participated in immigrant youth organizations, 84% of whom who had arrived in the United States before the age of 12. While they face higher barriers to success relative to the general populations, the report concluded that these kids have higher educational expectations and feel more empowered to make a difference. It recommended protecting access to in-state tuition, institutionalizing tuition assistance, and creating pathways to citizenship for them.

Aspiring Americans was part of the California Young Adult Study and was produced by Pathways to Postsecondary Success Project at UC ACCORD and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.


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