(Un)authorized Transitions: Illegality, DACA, and the Life Course

Roberto G. Gonzales, Basia Ellis, Sarah A. Rendón-García, Kristina Brant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Drawing on in-depth interviews with 408 beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), this article examines how they experienced their new status and improved adult trajectories as they transitioned from an undocumented to a DACAmented status. Authors' analyses suggest that DACA had a nearly immediate and positive impact on adult trajectories, delaying certain aspects of the “transition to illegality.” In addition, authors found differences in the experiences of respondents who received DACA at earlier and later stages in their transition to adulthood. Nevertheless, important limitations of the program continued to keep DACA beneficiaries in a developmental limbo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-359
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Human Development
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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