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Contributing to the literature on the institutional experiences of undocumented youth, this essay by Holly E. Reed, Sofya Aptekar, and Amy Hsin explores undocumented and “DACAmented” students’ experiences managing their illegality on campus and how college staff and faculty manage that illegality while organizing programs and support. Their analysis of in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with more than a hundred undocumented college students and former students and thirty-five faculty and staff members at the City University of New York identifies multiple points of tension. The “undocumented mismatch” between campus management of illegality and student experiences was evident in the exclusion and alienation of non-Latinx undocumented students, stress around legal status disclosure, and challenges around the issue of data confidentiality. These findings contribute to the literature on the institutional experiences of undocumented youth.


This is the accepted manuscript of a work originally published in the Harvard Educational Review, available at



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