Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program & American Individualism and the Social Adaptation of Unauthorized Mayan Youth in LA

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2203 SS&H | Andrews Conference Rm | UC Davis
About the paper

While comprehensive immigration reform flounders in the United States Congress, the presidential decree known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has now well passed its one year anniversary. Initiated in August 2012, DACA is an exercise in executive discretion that allows USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to grant temporary lawful status to qualified immigrant youth. People under 31, who arrived in the US before they were 16, and have resided permanently in the US for the past five years are potentially eligible for DACA as long as they are studying or have completed at least a high school degree or equivalent. The relevance of this limited form of immigration relief is underscored by the stalled attempts at wider reform. The common understanding is that some aspect of immigration reform will either pass Congress this month or not at all until 2015 given the coming election year. President Obama has promised to put immigration reform back in the spotlight after the October government shutdown put all government business on hold. His meeting on November 7th with Senator John McCain, a prominent Republican leader on immigration reform and one of the “gang of eight” who drafted the Senate bill, seems to indicate movement in this direction.

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Graduate Scholar Canizales
Stephanie Canizales 
Visiting Graduate Scholar, UC Davis Center for Poverty Research

Stephanie Canizales was a visiting graduate student scholar at the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in the Department of Sociology. Stephanie specializes in Central American migration, race/ethnicity, and the 1.5 and second generations. 




Daniel Jacob Leraul
Daniel Jacob Leraul
Law, UC Davis

Daniel Jacob Leraul is currently undertaking a J.D. at UC Davis. He has a BA in Global Studies (2004) from UC Santa Barbara, an MA in International Relations (2010) from the Universidad de Chile and an MA in Immigration and Asylum (2012) from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. 


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