Analyzing Deferred Action Childhood Arrival Policy Through A Critical Race Theory Lens

Abstract Analyzing Deferred Action Childhood Arrival Policy through a Critical Race Theory Lens By Vladimir Fernandez Master of Social Work Purpose: This policy analysis seeks to understand underlying racial concerns of immigration reform by analyzing DACA through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens. Using Critical Race Theory, we aim to explore systemic marginalization and social oppression based on immigration status and racial/ethnic identity of DACA recipients in the United States. Research Question: What is the impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy (DACA) on the Latina/o Community as explored through the lens of Critical Race Theory? Method: Critically analyze the components of DACA in relation to race, racism, and dominant society through a Critical Race Theory lens by utilizing a policy analysis framework developed by Dr. David McCarty-Caplan, derived from Delgado and Stefancic (2017). Results: Our research suggests that DACA explicitly provides a response to issues of marginalization for qualifying participants, however lacks social equity in relation to social oppression of undocumented youth populations. Discussion: Current Administration continues to perpetuate racially conscious biases while labeling all undocumented immigrants as criminals. Undefined limitations resulting from President Trump's proposed natural fade out date of March 2020 increases a lack of social justice. Failure to maintain DACA results in the criminalization and deportation of immigrant youth populations. It is paramount to establish a clear path to citizenship while recognizing the intersectionality of DACA recipients. Search terms: race; racism; immigration; policy analysis; DACA; undocumented