Immigrant children in Arizona: Social justice implications for education in the borderlands

Angeles Maldonado, Beth Blue Swadener, Casey Khaleesi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Arizona has long seen anti-immigrant policies that violate civil and human rights, including orchestrated tactics to generate a public spectacle and symbolic war against “illegal immigration.” One outcome of this hostile environment has been a vulnerable and criminalized community, traumatized under the incessant and real threat of deportation. Through public community resistance, we are aware that anti-immigrant policies have been and continue to affect immigrant families and children in serious ways. We are concerned and vigilant of changes in federal immigration laws and policies, deportation priorities, the separation of migrant children at the border, the conditions of deportation centers, and the treatment of newly arrived asylum seekers. We fear the increased militarization of the border and how nationally widespread nativist discourse is impacting children living in the borderlands. Our chapter draws from interviews with immigrant children in Arizona and situates their perspectives in Border Crit Theory. We discuss children’s trans-border identities, language, family, safety, visions for the future, and views of schooling. We conclude with concrete recommendations for supporting the well-being and education of immigrant children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducating for Social Justice in Early Childhood
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000651034
ISBN (Print)9780367246983
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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