Citizens vs. Aliens: How Institutional Policies Construct Linguistic Minority Students
Each year, millions of aspiring freshmen fi ll out college applications that ask, “Are you a U.S. citizen?” Many students are accustomed to answering this question for school, work, or travel; they may see it as mere administrative procedure. Yet there are situations in which the boundary between “citizen” and “resident” has signifi cant implications, and may result in the denial of particular benefi ts and privileges. This is the case at Northern Green University (pseudonym), where U.S. permanent residents (i.e., non-U.S. citizens) were subject to a distinct set of expectations for language profi ciency. These linguistic minority students have been, in the most literal sense, alienated from their peers.