Determined in a World of Uncertainty: Latino/a DACAmented Students Striving for Success Against All Odds
Luna-Duarte, Maria E
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This research study aimed to understand how DACAmented youth who attended, persisted or completed college in Arizona and Illinois experienced their unique social policy environments. Drawing from a larger sample of the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP), 15 interviews were selected from Arizona and 15 from Illinois (N=30) to understand how the immigration status of Latino/a DACA youth influenced the educational aspirations and achievement of these students. The research also describes and compares how differences in social capital interacted with complex national and state immigration policies to produce varied life experiences and outcomes for Latino/a DACA youth across these two states. DACA students in this study faced a multitude of issues including the ever-present fear of deportation for them and their families. Their social and economic opportunities continue to be restricted because their immigration status often did not allow them to obtain a driver’s license, a job, or apply to competitive colleges. Nevertheless, their social capital and resiliency, in part grounded in the support networks from family, community and school relationships, were critical for DACAmented students to access and complete college.
SubjectDACA, Education, Social Capital, Immigration, Policies