Immigration Debated: Central African Immigrant Youth’s Discourses of Fairness and Civic Belonging in the United States

Liv T. Dávila, Noor Doukmak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For the past several decades, public attitudes toward immigrants in the United States have centered on questions of legality and documentation, as well as economic and social impacts of immigration, whether real or imagined, such as employment and criminality. How immigrants, writ large, perceive of and contribute to these debates is insufficiently understood and has been underexplored in research. In this article, we analyze the responses of Central African newcomer immigrant and refugee adolescents in the United States to anti-immigrant political discourse in the year and a half after the 2016 Trump presidential election. Through critical discourse analysis of focus group interviews with these youth, findings are interpreted through an integrated Western and postcolonial philosophical framework of fairness as it relates to legality, race, and inclusion. We conclude by offering implications for schools and their constituents, including civic education that occurs across the curriculum and affords students opportunities to grapple with global challenges related to distribution of power and resources, rights and responsibilities, and justice and injustice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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