UN Human Rights Violations Here at Home? The Plight of Undocumented and DACA Students in South Carolina, USA


  • William David McCorkle Clemson University
  • Beatrice Bailey Clemson University


immigration, immigrant rights, human rights, UNESCO, educational equality


South Carolina is arguably the most restrictive state in the nation as it pertains to access to higher education for immigrant students, particularly undocumented and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students. As we show through personal interviews, this has had a detrimental effect on the lives of many immigrant students throughout the state. It also conflicts with the ideals of human rights in regard to access to higher education and equality which are laid out in the UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education. Our analysis of South Carolina’s policies helps shed a light on the greater issues related to immigrant education rights across the nation and how they compare to the immigration policies of more welcoming developed nations. As the United States seeks to be a champion for human rights around the world, we need to confront our own problematic educational policies, which often leave many students behind.

Author Biographies

William David McCorkle, Clemson University

Will McCorkle is a Ph.D. student in Social Studies Education at Clemson University. He previously taught middle school and high school history in South Carolina and Costa Rica. His area of research centers around access to higher education for immigrant students and confronting faulty narratives in the immigration debate.

Beatrice Bailey, Clemson University

Bea Bailey is a professor of social studies education at Clemson University. She has been a member of the International Assembly for several years and has published and presented papers related to human rights leaders, issues, and outreach projects. She is working on a biography of an American internationalist during the interwar years, Ben Robertson, Jr., an early four freedoms advocate from South Carolina. 






Social Justice issues