Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationTemple U.
Grant numberGr. 9668
Approve DateApril 18, 2018
Project TitleWeiss, Krystle E., Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Admissions: International Students, Higher Education, and Immigration Governance in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Damien Stankiewicz
KRYSTAL EVA WEISS, then a graduate student at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2018 to aid research on “Admissions: International Students, Higher Education, and Immigration Governance in the United States,” supervised by Dr. Damien Stankiewicz. In the United States, political rhetoric and public discourse portray immigration governance as a battle between legality and illegality waged at the border. However, the responsibility and power to manage rapidly growing foreign populations have been increasingly located away from the border in private, localized spaces like institutions of higher education. Every year, one million international students enter the United States with nonimmigrant status to access higher education and citizenship. The nonimmigrant to immigrant adjustment process constitutes a complex legal rite of passage, embedded in local communities and practices, through which nonimmigrants can be made into immigrants. Through twelve months of ethnographic research deeply rooted in four tertiary education settings, the researcher conducted participant observation, interviews, and participatory interpretive policy analysis with international students, higher education staff, and local policymakers to examine local processes of immigration adjustment and subjectivity formation. Specifically, this research investigated how non-state actors craft, administer, and enact local policies that throw light on the unrecognized legal, social, and embodied manifestations of the nonimmigration system and render legal, national citizenship accessible, though in uneven ways, to individuals otherwise prohibited from immigrating.