Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Under the Trump administration, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has become a "hot topic" in political discourse and in the media. Amidst this discourse, however, the stories of DACA recipients whose lives are drastically affected by this political drama are often overlooked. Furthermore, a problematic narrative has emerged labeling the "dreamers" as "good immigrants" who need to be saved at the expense of their families, relatives, and other undocumented immigrants who do not fit into the "dreamer" category. Another problematic aspect of current research is celebrating this aspect of "resiliency" that undocumented youth portray and ignoring the consequences this mindset has on mental health and overall quality of life. Using semi-structured interviews, I document the narratives of 20 undocumented Mexican immigrants from 14 states across the country. I challenge the notion of resiliency with the powerful narratives of trauma and survival that emerged from the data. In doing so, I question the role of the researcher and step way from traditional sociological methods to emphasize the importance of participants' lived experiences.

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