Dissertation

An understanding of the Latino DREAMers experience of human capital through the deferred action for childhood arrivals

According to the Public Policy Institute of California (2013a) the state of California is home to more than two million undocumented immigrants. The majority of these individuals migrated to the United States with hopes of a better life than what they left behind in their native country, including better job opportunities with higher incomes and a promising future for their offspring (Johnston, Karageorgis, & Light, 2013). The majority of the undocumented immigrants are of Latino descent with reports showing that 525,000 immigrants came from Mexico from 2000-2004 (Center for American Progress, 2012). In 2013, the Public Policy Institute of California (2013a) found that the population of undocumented immigrants included 59% from Mexico, 11% from Asia, 11% from Central America, 7% Central America, 7% South America, 4% the Caribbean and less than 2% from the Middle East. This qualitative study examines the opportunities and experience that Latino DREAMers had once the California Dream Act Application and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals were implemented. The researcher interviewed 12 Latino DREAMers who graduated from high school between the years 2008-2013 and participated in the California Dream Act Application and also the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The researcher also collected statistical data from 50 DREAMers. Through the analysis of the data collected, the researcher found five common themes relating to the Latino DREAMers experience of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the California Dream Act Application: opportunity experience, fear and living in the shadows, motivation and marketable, accepted but separated and schools and jobs working as networks.

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