"Because I'm a Citizen:" The Experiences of Transfronterizo College Students in Higher Education along the U.S.-México Border

Juan J Mendoza, University of Texas at El Paso


Transfronterizo college students are students who reside in México while attending college or university in the United States. This study will be expanding the transnational literature in two ways. First, this study addresses how citizenships status impacts transnational college students. In particular, the study explores how citizenship status affects the everyday lived experiences of transfronterizo college students along the U.S.-México border. The focus of my research is to investigate how citizenship status affects transfronterizo college students’ decisions to enroll in college in the U.S. while living along the U.S.-México border. The current study draws on data collected from November 2016 to April 2018 collected in El Paso, Texas. Flyers were utilized to collect participants for the study that resulted in twenty-three participants. Findings suggest that while U.S. citizenship status offers transfronterizo college students the ability to cross the port of entry with no restrictions, allowing them to attend schools in the United States, but this status does not protect them from being viewed and treated as being culturally deficient due to their relationship to México. In conclusion the findings from this study suggest that citizenship status impacts transfronterizo college students in different areas of their lives with financial stressors, notions of “hiding,” personal obstacles, marginalization, institutional barriers, and benefits impacting transfronterizo college students’ academic goals in higher education in the United States.

Subject Area

Sociology|Social structure|Social research|Latin American Studies|Educational sociology|Multicultural Education|Educational evaluation|Higher education|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Mendoza, Juan J, ""Because I'm a Citizen:" The Experiences of Transfronterizo College Students in Higher Education along the U.S.-México Border" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13887215.