Legitimacy, Social Identity, and the Mobilization of Law: The Effects of Assembly Bill 540 on Undocumented Students in California

  title={Legitimacy, Social Identity, and the Mobilization of Law: The Effects of Assembly Bill 540 on Undocumented Students in California},
  author={Leisy J. Abrego},
  journal={Law \&\#x0026; Social Inquiry},
  pages={709 - 734}
  • Leisy J. Abrego
  • Published 1 September 2008
  • Sociology
  • Law & Social Inquiry
This article examines the instrumental and constitutive effects of California Assembly Bill 540. The law grants undocumented immigrant students an exemption from out-of-state tuition, thereby making some forms of higher education more accessible. Despite the narrow actionable aspects of the law, it unintentionally legitimizes this disenfranchised group. This longitudinal study of undocumented immigrant youth consists of in-depth interviews before, shortly after, and four years after the passage… 

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