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Listen to podcast interview with Author William Perez, Ph.D. about undocumented students

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 22, 2010


William Perez, Ph.D., Author, We Are Americans

Photo: William Perez, Ph.D.

A podcast interview with William Perez, Ph.D., author, We Are Americans Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream (see California professor shares findings on United States undocumented youth) is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, William discusses the issues relating to undocumented students in America based on his recently published book with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador William came to the United States in the early nineteen eighties at the age of 10 to escape the civil war that began in 1979. He spent his remaining childhood in Pomona, California, attended Pomona College, and later earned a Ph.D. in child and adolescent development from Stanford University.

A professor at Claremont Graduate University, he is an emerging leader on research that examines the social and psychological development of immigrant and Latino students. He strives to brings depth of research experience to the complex problems of academic achievement and higher education access. His research has been funded by the Haynes and Fletcher Jones foundations. He currently lives in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz where he enjoys hiking the trails in nearby Griffith Park. He competes in triathlons and is an avid fan of the local indie-rock scene.

To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR William Perez” click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the March 2010 section of the podcast archive.


Click here to buy We Are Americans




California professor shares findings on United States undocumented youth

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 5, 2010

We Are Americans

William Perez, Ph.D., professor of education at Claremont Graduate University and an applied developmental psychologist, began interviewing undocumented students in 2006 to better understand their experiences growing up in the United States. To his surprise these students, part of a larger group of 3.1 million children and young adults whose immigration status in the country is illegal, exhibited a high percentage of civic involvement. He shared his findings and portions of the interviews with 16 undocumented students as well as four formerly undocumented students in a newly published book, We Are Americans Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream (Stylus Publishing, $22.50).

The 161-page book, published in 2009, is divided into five parts featuring the stories of high school, community college, and university students as well as college graduates, college graduates who were previously undocumented and a conclusion. He explains in the Conclusion that while 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the United States every year, only one in five of these students is able to overcome the overwhelming odds to continue on to college.

He believes these undocumented students and their families are members of American society and should be granted legal status; that U.S.-born citizens have nothing to fear from these marginalized individuals and others who like them are impoverished in our nation. He advocates for the legal incorporation of undocumented youths and their families, indicating that for him it is a matter of “dignity and fundamental human rights.”

The book includes a Foreword by Daniel G. Solorzano, professor, Social Science and Comparative Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies of the University of California, Los Angeles in which he sides with Perez: “Professor Perez’s research provides persuasive evidence that the talent we lose when we exclude undocumented students is a devastating loss to the United States…”


Click here to buy We Are Americans