Supportive College Climates for Undocumented Students – Classnotes Podcast #242 | Classnotes Podcast 242

Classnotes Podcast (April 29, 2024) Anti-immigrant rhetoric has real consequences on students’ lives. Since IDRA’s earliest days, we have been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrant students to attend public school. Their access to college was under threat recently in a case brought forth by the Young Conservatives of Texas that was a thinly veiled anti-immigrant attack on the Texas Dream Act.

When the lower court in 2022 barred the University of North Texas (UNT) from collecting nonresident tuition from out-of-state students, IDRA filed an amicus brief on behalf of 12 student, business and higher education organizations urging the Fifth Circuit to reverse the erroneous decision.

Thankfully the next year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court sided with the university by reversing anti-immigrant tuition challenge.

While the Young Conservatives of Texas v. Neal Smatresk et al., case was pending IDRA Chief Legal Analyst, Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., talked with two UNT students and a faculty member about how such legal challenges affect them and their campus environment. They describe YCT’s “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” on campus and ways students and faculty came together to support undocumented students in such a climate.

At the time of this recording, Daniel Diaz-Alcaraz was a UNT doctoral student and a founder of MUEVE. Edith Campa graduated from UNT in 2022. Mariela Nuñez-Janes, Ph.D., is a UNT professor of anthropology.

Show length: 52:12


Court Sides with UNT by Reversing Anti-Immigrant Tuition Challenge Fifth Circuit Court Order – IDRA & Presidents’ Alliance React to Young Conservatives of Texas v. Neal Smatresk et al., July 11, 2023

IDRA and President’s Alliance Joint Statement on Oral Argument: UNT Court Case Underscores Threat to Texas’ Higher Education and Students – IDRA & Presidents’ Alliance React to Oral Arguments in University of North Texas Case, February 13, 2023

Podcast: A Reckless Anti-Immigration Lawsuit Challenges Texas Tuition Laws, Latino Business Report episode featuring Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., IDRA, August 23, 2022

IDRA Statement on Amicus Brief: IDRA Files Amicus Brief in Fifth Circuit on Behalf of Student, Business and Higher Education Organizations in a Reckless Case Challenging Texas Tuition Laws – Injunction Could Cost Universities Millions, Reduce Funds for Academics and Supports for Texas Students, August 5, 2022

IDRA Amicus Brief in Young Conservatives of Texas Foundation v. Smatresk on behalf of 12 business, higher education and student organizations, August 1, 2022

IDRA Statement on District Court Ruling: IDRA Denounces Court Ruling Jeopardizing Texas’ Dream Act, April 13, 2022

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Show Notes

  • * Daniel and Edith – both UNT graduates – and “Profe” Mariela – a long-time professor of anthropology – talk about their backgrounds, and what first brought them to UNT.

  • * Paige and Mariela discuss the circumstances around the passage of HB 1403 and SB 1528 in 2001 and 2005, respectively, which provided a pathway for Texas Dreamers to pay in-state tuition at UNT and other public colleges and universities across the state.

  • * Daniel and Mariela share their memories from 2005, when the Young Conservatives of Texas organized a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” event on campus.

  • * Daniel recounts about the founding and origins of MUEVE, partially in response to the YCT.

  • * Edith and Daniel talk about MUEVE’s ongoing and evolving mission in the 2020s, including providing a safe space for transgender students.

  • * Paige asks Daniel, Edith, and Mariela what messages they want to share with educational, political, and community leaders and policymakers.