Author brings views on the struggles of undocumented Latinos to City College

A book by Cal State San Marcos professor brings light to the lives of Latinos and immigrants.


Kristen Dixon

The life of Latinos and unodcumented immigrants was discussed with author and CSUSM professor Marisol Clark-Ibanez.

Kristin Dixon, Newsletter Editor

Author and professor Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez presented a lecture and a Q&A session on her book “Undocumented Latino Youth: Navigating Their Worlds” at San Diego City College on Monday.

The book communicates the struggles undocumented Latinos go through on a day-to-day basis by providing direct quotes from interviews.

Clark-Ibáñez collaborated with multiple undocumented individuals and said proceeds go to scholarships at Cal State San Marcos for undocumented students.

High school graduation rates in the Latino community concern the North County professor. 

“(The) high school graduation rate is less than 50 percent in this town,” Clark-Ibáñez said. “Less than 30 percent of the Latinx students have completed any of the college preparation courses.”

Undocumented Latinos may feel like they have a safe haven while at school, but outside of school and after graduation, some feel lost and afraid. 

The Dream Act is problematic, according to Clark-Ibáñez. It focuses on youth and not their loved ones and family members. She points to research that shows individuals are feeling just as much stress if their parents or loved ones are undocumented.

Others do not want to be defined by their status or by the legislature, to which Clark-Ibáñez replied, “I am not just my status.”

The book highlights the different strategies allies can take to help undocumented immigrants and let them know that there is hope. In the book, Clark-Ibáñez calls these supporters, “DREAMer Keeper,” who can be a nightlight once the fire of activism is put out. 

“This is not the time to be on the sidelines,” Clark-Ibáñez said.

Clark-Ibáñez listed several resources available to undocumented students like Education Without Borders, undocuReasearch Project and “Unauthorized-Portraits of Undocumented Latinx Immigrants” (a new book).