Roberto Gonzales: Why DACA Works

September 17, 2018

New research from IIH Director Roberto Gonzales shows that immigrant students with DACA status experience smoother transitions to adulthood.

"Gonzales and his co-authors describe adolescence for undocumented immigrants as “a waking nightmare,” a time when young people realize that the goals they had thought possible are, in fact, out of their reach because of their immigration status. He described this uncomfortable awakening in his 2015 book, Lives in Limbo. When DACA began, it unlocked previously unavailable rites of passage to students who immigrated to the United States without documentation, Gonzales says. For students able to gain wider access through the program, the nightmare was largely over."

"'DACA in the short term is, I think, inarguably the most successful policy of immigration integration we’ve had in the last in the past three decades. It’s provided a boost to immigrants and their families, for sure,' Gonzales says."

Read more on Dr. Gonzales' research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.