Im/migrant educational strategies in Mexico city: A comparative case study
Claudia Triana

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Wisconsin-Madison

Primary Discipline

Mexico's educational policy promotes inclusivity for marginalized groups, including migrants. However, despite their increasing numbers, few initiatives support these groups. Mexico has become the third country with the highest number of refugee applications while receiving the most deportees from the United States, including U.S. citizens. This increase is due to U.S. immigration policies that externalize the border through third country agreements, deterring migrants from entering the U.S., and domestic policies that expand the deportation regime within the U.S. Asylees, refugees, deportees, and returnees have distinct positions vis-a-vis the legal and sociopolitical categories in Mexico. Nonetheless, they have settled in the country due to obstacles encountered on their journeys to or from the United States and have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to access schooling to facilitate their integration in a new setting. This comparative case study examines the educational strategies pursued by asylum seekers, undocumented immigrants, "de-facto" deportees (U.S.-born children whose Mexican parents are deported or repatriated), and Mexico-born (voluntary and involuntary) "returnees" who have spent time in the U.S. and returned to Mexico. In particular, this study examines how im/migrant youth and their families remake their lives in Mexico with the help of or in relation to educational resources, and how those educational experiences influence their migration aspirations. As the phenomenon of educating children in multiple countries increases, this study contributes to the theoretical and empirical understanding of the changing educational needs of im/migrant children and how im/migrant categorization generates educational inequality in Mexico and other destinations.
About Claudia Triana
Claudia Triana Ipinza is a doctoral candidate in the department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A scholar of comparative and international education, her research focuses on the inequities at the intersection of im/migration and education policies, displacement, and resistance. For over a decade, Claudia has served as a youth worker with refugee and im/migrant students and communities across the United States and abroad. Furthermore, she has led culturally-responsive research and evaluation projects with public schools aimed at supporting the needs of multilingual students. Claudia?s dissertation, funded by Fulbright-Hays, examines how im/migrant categorization (refugee, deportee, returnee) produces educational inequality in Mexico. As an educational ethnographer, her scholarship is grounded on the need for border justice, and a recognition of the impact of U.S. empire on immigrant experiences. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Claudia worked at the New York City Department of Education. She is a proud alumna of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, as well as an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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