Crossing invisible imaginary lines: Gaining access and building relationships with undocumented college students

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

American Educational Research Association Annual Conference


New Orleans, LA

Date of Presentation



Undocumented college students experience a paradox. They feel the need to avoid being exposed on college campus, but also feel the pressure to share their stories in an effort to advocate for social change. This presentation will focus on the process of gaining access to these students as well as reflexively considering the ethical aspects of gathering data with undocumented students. Findings suggest that researchers need to negotiate differences, participate in the group, and build relationships while consider the process of taking someone’s story and balancing power.

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