In this ethnographic study, Elaine C. Allard describes and analyzes the characteristics and experiences of undocumented newcomer adolescents attending a US suburban high school. She considers the ways in which newcomer adolescents show agency in their border crossing, prioritize work over formal education, and express transnational identities. She contrasts their experience with the predominant narrative of DREAMers, undocumented childhood arrivals who are often characterized as migrating to the United States “through no fault of their own,” who prioritize professional aspirations through schooling, and who are “American in spirit.” Allard calls attention to a subgroup of undocumented students who may benefit from different approaches by educators and immigrant advocates.

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