Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Annika Hinze, Ph.D.


In response to political pressure, President Obama authorized the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. The program gives qualified undocumented young people access to relief from deportation, renewable work permits, and temporary Social Security numbers. This policy opened up access to new jobs, higher earnings, driver’s licenses, health care, and banking. Now that DACA’ status is uncertain, Latino immigrants are faced with severe problems of mental health and wellbeing. Ending DACA without a more permanent program or solution in place has heightened the stress and fear that families with mixed citizenship status have increasingly faced. In this thesis, I focus my case studies on Latin American countries, specifically Mexico and the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). My research encompasses primary and secondary sources, quantitative databases, and research papers discussing the overall health implications of these immigrants under the DACA program. I survey this research to elaborate why DACA’s uncertain future has been a problem for the overall wellbeing of the recipients. In the end, DACA granted temporary relief for many rightfully deserved immigrants: all participants received many benefits throughout the program. However, the benefits don’t account for the stress and mental implications this program has had on them, and especially now as its status has become even more uncertain. This means that in order to possibly terminate the program, there ought to be a more permanent solution for those still seeking temporary relief from deportation.