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    'A place of belonging' Andrea Flores, an anthropologist who's studied how undocumented status affects a student's experience in obtaining a higher education, says these private universities are filling in a gap left by public institutions and government. "That sense of belonging to a civic institution from K to 12 is gone," said Flores. "Private schools provide a place of belonging again." Public education is available to all children in the United States, regardless of their legal status. That stops in 12th grade.