Dreamer allies' perceptions of how the possible total termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program could affect dreamers' experiences at higher education institutions

Thesis (M.P.P.A., Public Policy and Administration)--California State University, Sacramento, 2020.

The rescission of Deferred Action for childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been a topic of conversation during the Donald J. Trump presidency. DACA recipients all over the United States (US) have an immigrations status that is currently at limbo. Without the DACA program, these program recipients (Dreamers) would lose access to the right to work, to a driver license, and to specific types of financial aid at higher education institutions. With the number of Dreamers attending higher education institutions increasing over time, higher education institutions could potentially be left to figure out how to deal with these students’ shift in immigration status. The purpose of this study is to look into how Dreamer allies, higher education institution staff members that support Dreamers attainment of higher education, perceive that the possible total termination of the DACA program will affect these students’ experiences at my studied institution. In this study, I conducted in-person interviews at a Norther California higher education institution with Dreamer allies that had one-on-one experiences with Dreamers at the institution. The interviews provided me with the Dreamer allies’ perceptions of how they believe the possible total termination of the DACA program will personally affect Dreamers at my studied institution. Some limitations I faced when conducting my study were having a restricted amount of time to conduct my research. My findings indicate that my research question was partially answered by my research due to that it is still unknown how the complete termination of the DACA program will affect Dreamers given that the program has not been completely terminated yet. My major findings indicate that Dreamer allies believe that Dreamers’ access to financial aid might suffer, Dreamers’ lack of access to legal forms of employment might make it more difficult to obtain higher education, and the loss of the DACA program could signify Dreamers’ loss of sense of campus acceptance and inclusion.