I'm going to kind of dissent from what's above. I'm a little bit familiar with the situation of Roma and Sinti in Europe. It's really awful. They are definitely an under-represented minority.
URM status, in terms of applying to American law schools, is associated with certain ethnicities because ticking a certain box is a quick way of knowing whether you or your forbears endured (or had a very high chance of enduring) some kind of unfair discriminatory treatment in the United States at some time in American history "Automatic" URM status is defined around American norms and history. The Roma are not a part of American history, so there's no Roma box to tick, and therefore no automatic standing. If the Roma's struggle was part of American history, they would have had a box here, and they would have URM status automatically like other groups have. But the Roma story is not an American one.
Since they don't have a box, a Roma person applying to law school must bring up their background in their personal statement and/or diversity statement for it to be considered. After Roma do that, though, I'm sure they'd get an URM boost from any admissions office with anyone even vaguely aware of the situation of that group in Europe. URM consideration is automatic for American history based URMs, but non-USA-based URMs (i.e. ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples in other countries) can definitely make a case for themselves. It just makes sense. I know of someone who made it into a better college than her stats might normally have won her because she and her parents were refugees (or asylum seekers) fleeing a nation where her minority group was being targeted. It happens, but not automatically.
Should non-USA URMs all have boxes that they can tick? Maybe they deserve them so it can be easier to pick them out in the crowd. If so, how would we determine them all? Could we do this accurately? Fairly? Comprehensively? It's an interesting question. I think in an ideal world we would. Maybe we can. Boxes are starting to vary and break down as people appreciate difference more -- filling out the forms, I noticed that many schools ask for a country-specific Asian background, some schools ask black applicants which branch of the diaspora (Africa proper, Caribbean/Latin America, USA) they associate with. This "extra" stuff wasn't there when I was applying to college, or at least not as much as it is now.
But I think accurateness and fairness in determining non-American URMs could be a problem in including non-American URMS. It's hard enough figuring out how we're going to define our own minorities, much less taking it upon ourselves to figure out everyone's minority groups. American boxes aren't perfectly non-controversial; for example, I think it's pretty odd that people of Middle Eastern decent don't have their own box most of the time. This illustrates the subjectivity in defining different minority groups. It's a political and controversial process because it can be done in different ways.
sunrunner wrote:Not a flame. Just a question.
That's a bit defensive. If this was really an open-hearted question, it wouldn't have occurred to you to add this. I think you are trying to stir something up here about URM status. I'm up for a discussion about the value of how we define URM status (hey, I responded to your post at length), which is nominally what your post was about, but let's keep this respectful. If you want to make a thread about how AA is unfair or silly, start one up (and watch it get locked). Please don't use the plight of the Roma as a boxer's mitt for that agenda.