Dissertation Defense — Ryan Z. Maltese

“They, too, sing American: A critical analysis of UGA policy 4.1.6 and its perceived impacts on DACA students in the state of Georgia.”
by: Ryan Z. Maltese
Research interrogating the development, implementation and enforcement of reactionary and conservative social and educational movements and policies has enabled us to show the contradictions and unequal effects and the disproportionate and disparate impacts on the lives of minority students (Apple, 2009). This research study examined how the Georgia Board of Regents interprets and enforces the “lawful presence” requirement set forU1 in USG Policy 4.1 .6. The study gave primary consideration lo DACA students, who the data show have been systematically excluded from access Lo certain stale colleges and universities without legal cause. The study also examined the perceived impacts of Policy 4.1.6 on DACA student. seeking admission lo the slate’s most selective colleges and universities. Data collected from participant interviews of DACA students, along with data gaL11ered thr0t1gh participant observation and documents analysis, were used LO create a greater understanding of the impacts of Policy 4.1 .6 on both DACA and undocumented students. The study is significant because it traverses matters of current legal import. while also contributing lo the growing body of literature concerning access to postsecondary education for the undocumented. Using the methodological approach of critical theory, the study incorporated elements of critical race theory (CRT), critical Latino/a studies (LatCrit), and critical policy analysis in the exploration of the various. narratives and counter narratives created by the enforcement of Policy 4.1.6. Using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the interview data, a critical assessment of the perceived impacts of Georgia immigration and education policy development and implementation is also provided. Finally, this study revealed the ways in which ‘race-neutral’ educational policies result in discriminatory practices against minorities, specifically undocumented students.