DACA Uncertainty May Undermine its Positive Impact on Wellbeing
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Young, undocumented Latino immigrants face many challenges in the United States. Undocumented Latino youth are less likely to graduate from high school and attend college than native-born youth and are more likely to live in poverty and report clinical levels of depression. This research examines the impact of changes in legal status related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Latino immigrant young adults in California, with a focus on distress and psychological well being. The results show that levels of distress for DACA-eligible young adults dropped significantly in the 2013-14 time period after DACA’s implementation. However, by 2015-16, their distress levels began to increase when many became aware of the program’s limitations and possible termination.