Evaluating the Impacts of the Tenure and Termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program on Immigrant Young Adults, 2012-2020
Undocumented immigrant youth experience a range of disadvantages linked to their legal precariousness, leading to substantial inequality. This study asks: Do programs that regularize immigrant legal status reduce inequality among immigrant youth and between immigrants and non-immigrants? Alternatively, what happens when rights-granting programs are revoked? The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented in 2012, granted some undocumented youth temporary relief from deportation, along with work authorization and other benefits. In September 2017, a gradual phase-out of the program was announced. DACA’s tenure and subsequent termination provide an unprecedented opportunity to analyze whether, how, and to what extent changes to legal status impact inequality among immigrant youth. This study estimates the impacts of DACA’s tenure using multiple waves of representative statewide data from California. Then, to examine the nested impacts of the program’s creation and termination, and the mechanisms influencing these impacts, the project draws from three waves of the DACA Study, an original longitudinal survey and in-depth interview study of DACA recipients and undocumented non-recipients in California. The findings from this study will inform federal immigration policy discussions, as well as state and local policies seeking to reduce inequality based on immigration status. Papers from this project include:
- Patler, Caitlin, Erin Hamilton, and Robin Savinar*. 2018. “DACA Uncertainty May Undermine its Positive Impact on Psychological Wellbeing.”UC Davis Center for Poverty Research.
- Patler, Caitlin. 2018. “The Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the Psychological Wellbeing of Young Immigrants.” Scholars Strategy Network.
- Patler, Caitlin and Whitney N. Laster Pirtle. 2018. “From Undocumented to Lawfully Present: Do Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults?” Social Science & Medicine. 199(1):39-48.
- “From Undocumented to DACAmented: Impacts of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, Three Years Following its Announcement.” 2015. UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (with Jorge Cabrera and Dream Team Los Angeles).
- Patler, Caitlin, Erin Hamilton, and Robin Savinar. “The Limits of Legal Transitions for Psychological Wellbeing: Undocumented Youth and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.” In progress.
- Hamilton, Erin, Caitlin Patler, and Robin Savinar. “DACA’s Mixed Impacts on Education and Employment among Young Adult Immigrants in California” In progress.
Immigration Detention and the Intersections of Immigration and Criminal Law
The first of its kind, this original longitudinal and mixed-methods study investigates the impacts of immigration detention and release on the socioeconomic status and wellbeing of detainees. It explores the conditions of confinement within immigrant detention facilities, as well as the impacts of imprisonment (incarceration and immigrant detention) on post-release outcomes. A final component of the study analyzes the collateral consequences of the intersections between criminal and immigration law by assessing the household and community impacts of long-term immigration detention and deportation. This project also includes analyses of administrative data from the Department of Homeland Security. Papers related to this project include:
- Patler, Caitlin, Jeffrey O. Sacha, and Nicholas Branic. Online First. “The Black Box within a Black Box: Solitary Confinement Practices in a Subset of U.S. Immigrant Detention Facilities.” Journal of Population Research.
- Patler, Caitlin and Nicholas Branic. 2017. “Patterns of Spouse and Child Visitation during Immigration Detention.” RSF: The Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences 3(4):18-36.
- Patler, Caitlin and Tanya Golash-Boza. 2017. “The Fiscal and Human Costs of Immigration Detention and Deportation in the United States.” Sociology Compass. 11(11):1-9.
- “The Economic Impacts of Long-Term Immigration Detention in Southern California.” 2015. UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.
- Patler, Caitlin, Kristina Shull and Katie Dingeman-Cerda. In Press. “Detention and Deportation.” in The Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies, Second Edition., edited by S. J. Gold and S. J. Nawyn. London and New York: Routledge.
- Gonzales, Gabriela and Caitlin Patler (equal authorship). “Compounded Vulnerability: The Intergenerational Consequences of Parental Immigration Detention for Children’s Institutional Attachment and System Avoidance.” In Progress.
Legally Vulnerable Workers Project
A series of papers use survey data representative of 1.64 million low-wage workers in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York to explore the labor market experiences of legally vulnerable individuals (e.g. noncitizens, individuals with a criminal record, etc.). Papers from this study include:
- Patler, Caitlin, Shannon Gleeson, and Matthias Schonlau. “The Impact of Immigrant Legal Status and Human Capital on Legal Knowledge and Claims-Making in Low Wage and Unregulated Labor Markets.” In Progress.
- Patler, Caitlin and Angela Carter. “Degrees of Inequality: The Diminished Returns to Education for Workers with a Criminal Record.” In Progress.
Young and Undocumented: The Impacts of Immigration Status on the Incorporation of Immigrant Youth
This mixed-methods dissertation project used survey data analysis, in-depth interviews, and content analysis to documents some of the challenges faced by undocumented immigrant young adults, as well as how these young people resist exclusion and make claims for their rights. Publications from this study include:
- Patler, Caitlin. 2018. “To Reveal or Conceal: How Diverse Undocumented Youth Navigate Legal Status Disclosure.” Sociological Perspectives. 61(6):857-873.
- Patler, Caitlin. In Press. “Undocumented Disadvantage, Citizen Advantage, or Both? The Comparative Educational Outcomes of Second and 1.5-Generation Latino Young Adults.” International Migration Review.
- Patler, Caitlin. 2018. “Citizens but for Papers: Undocumented Youth Organizations, Anti-Deportation Campaigns, and the Boundaries of Belonging.” Social Problems. 65(1): 95-115.
- Patler, Caitlin and Roberto G. Gonzales. 2015. “Framing Citizenship: Media Coverage of Anti-Deportation Cases Led by Undocumented Immigrant Youth Organizations.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 41(9): 1453-74.
- Patler, Caitlin. 2014. “Racialized Illegality: The Convergence of Race and Legal Status among Black, Latino and Asian-American Undocumented Young Adults.” In Carty, Victoria, Rafael Luévano and Tekle Woldemikael, Eds. Scholars and Southern Californian Immigrants in Dialogue: New Conversations in Public Sociology. Lexington Press.