Our Latest Issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Volume 14, Issue 3

Volume 14, Issue 2

Volume 14, Issue 1

Preschool for All: Plyler V. Doe in The Context of Early Childhood Education

By: Kooragayala, Shiva | October 1, 2019

In its 1982 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court held that a state could not deny undocumented children living within its borders a public and free K-12 education. This Note argues that Plyler’s protections extend to publicly-funded early childhood education programs that serve children between the ages of three and five. Due to the broad support of researchers, educators, and the general public, early childhood education programs funded by local, state, and the federal governments have become an integral part of a comprehensive public education today. While these early childhood education programs are nominally open to all students who meet program-specific age, income, and geographic residency requirements, undocumented children and children of undocumented parents face a variety of indirect and direct barriers to entry that range from onerous and arbitrary identification requirements to attempted outright bans on enrollment based on immigration status. Taking a prophylactic approach, this Note details how denying access to public early childhood education programs to these young children contradicts the spirit and central holding of Plyler. In this era of judicial restraint and heightened xenophobia, the enduring precedent of Plyler offers an avenue for families, policymakers, and advocates to ensure that all children, regardless of their immigration status, can receive a comprehensive public education that includes early childhood education.

Private Prisons, Private Governance: Essay On Developments In Private-Sector Resistance To Privatized Immigration Detention

By: Jefferis, Danielle C | October 1, 2019

Children Of A Lesser God: Reconceptualizing Race In Immigration Law

By: Hamilton-Jiang, Sarah L | October 1, 2019

The increased public exposure to the experiences of Latinx unaccompanied children seeking entry at the United States southern border has revealed the lived reality of the nation’s pernicious immigration laws. The harrowing experiences of unaccompanied children are amplified by their interaction with a legal system plagued by a legacy of systemic racism and sustained racial caste. While immigration law currently affords minimal legal protections for these children, in application, the law continues to fall egregiously short of providing for the safety of unaccompanied children. Though critics have long attested to the legal system’s neglect of unaccompanied children, subsequent legal analysis has overlooked the intersectional role of race as it pertains to their attempts to navigate entry. This Article uses the concept of racialization to explore the legal treatment of Latinx unaccompanied children as they navigate entry to the United States. This Article demonstrates that the legal framework creates structural inequality for Latinx unaccompanied children through a concept known as “adultification.” Further, racist social and political narratives are incorporated into the law which contribute to the racialization of Latinx unaccompanied children and challenges the very vulnerability that lies at the foundation of the legal protections available for children. The Article concludes with a proposed intersectional vulnerability framework that reconceptualizes race and strengthens the rights and protections of unaccompanied children.