"I need this chance to . . . help my family": A qualitative analysis of the aspirations of DACA applicants

Yvonne M. Luna, T. Mark Montoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the aspirations of undocumented youth seeking to defer deportation from the United States and obtain temporary employment authorization through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The data are twenty-three letters submitted from 2013-2015 to a nonprofit foundation in the US Southwest that provides financial assistance to pay DACA application fees. Conducted within a narrative framework, analysis of emergent themes reveals a story of hope and family that counters the dominant political story of fear and threat to public safety. Specifically, from the DACA applicant's standpoint, family is their most valuable form of social capital and by providing the means for employment and the education needed to launch a sustainable career, DACA status provides the leverage required to maximize family capital. Our analysis reveals a disturbing disjuncture between their testimonios and the realities of a policy intended to serve as a safety net. The current political climate makes aspirations like theirs increasingly difficult to achieve and may actually exacerbate legal and social liminality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number265
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Fingerprint

applicant
childhood
temporary employment
deportation
financial assistance
authorization
fee
social capital
career
climate
threat
anxiety
narrative
education

Keywords

  • DACA
  • Dreamers
  • Education
  • Family
  • Immigration
  • Mixed-status families
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

"I need this chance to . . . help my family" : A qualitative analysis of the aspirations of DACA applicants. / Luna, Yvonne M.; Montoya, T. Mark.

In: Social Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 9, 265, 01.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d20629c7f495443d8d28fa432367184c,
title = "{"}I need this chance to . . . help my family{"}: A qualitative analysis of the aspirations of DACA applicants",
abstract = "This study explores the aspirations of undocumented youth seeking to defer deportation from the United States and obtain temporary employment authorization through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The data are twenty-three letters submitted from 2013-2015 to a nonprofit foundation in the US Southwest that provides financial assistance to pay DACA application fees. Conducted within a narrative framework, analysis of emergent themes reveals a story of hope and family that counters the dominant political story of fear and threat to public safety. Specifically, from the DACA applicant's standpoint, family is their most valuable form of social capital and by providing the means for employment and the education needed to launch a sustainable career, DACA status provides the leverage required to maximize family capital. Our analysis reveals a disturbing disjuncture between their testimonios and the realities of a policy intended to serve as a safety net. The current political climate makes aspirations like theirs increasingly difficult to achieve and may actually exacerbate legal and social liminality.",
keywords = "DACA, Dreamers, Education, Family, Immigration, Mixed-status families, Work",
author = "Luna, {Yvonne M.} and Montoya, {T. Mark}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3390/socsci8090265",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
journal = "Social Sciences",
issn = "2076-0760",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - "I need this chance to . . . help my family"

T2 - A qualitative analysis of the aspirations of DACA applicants

AU - Luna, Yvonne M.

AU - Montoya, T. Mark

PY - 2019/9/1

Y1 - 2019/9/1

N2 - This study explores the aspirations of undocumented youth seeking to defer deportation from the United States and obtain temporary employment authorization through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The data are twenty-three letters submitted from 2013-2015 to a nonprofit foundation in the US Southwest that provides financial assistance to pay DACA application fees. Conducted within a narrative framework, analysis of emergent themes reveals a story of hope and family that counters the dominant political story of fear and threat to public safety. Specifically, from the DACA applicant's standpoint, family is their most valuable form of social capital and by providing the means for employment and the education needed to launch a sustainable career, DACA status provides the leverage required to maximize family capital. Our analysis reveals a disturbing disjuncture between their testimonios and the realities of a policy intended to serve as a safety net. The current political climate makes aspirations like theirs increasingly difficult to achieve and may actually exacerbate legal and social liminality.

AB - This study explores the aspirations of undocumented youth seeking to defer deportation from the United States and obtain temporary employment authorization through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The data are twenty-three letters submitted from 2013-2015 to a nonprofit foundation in the US Southwest that provides financial assistance to pay DACA application fees. Conducted within a narrative framework, analysis of emergent themes reveals a story of hope and family that counters the dominant political story of fear and threat to public safety. Specifically, from the DACA applicant's standpoint, family is their most valuable form of social capital and by providing the means for employment and the education needed to launch a sustainable career, DACA status provides the leverage required to maximize family capital. Our analysis reveals a disturbing disjuncture between their testimonios and the realities of a policy intended to serve as a safety net. The current political climate makes aspirations like theirs increasingly difficult to achieve and may actually exacerbate legal and social liminality.

KW - DACA

KW - Dreamers

KW - Education

KW - Family

KW - Immigration

KW - Mixed-status families

KW - Work

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85073098936&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85073098936&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/socsci8090265

DO - 10.3390/socsci8090265

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85073098936

VL - 8

JO - Social Sciences

JF - Social Sciences

SN - 2076-0760

IS - 9

M1 - 265

ER -