Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

K. Stephen Prince, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julia F. Irwin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jody Lynn McBrien, Ph.D.


DACA, Immigration History, DREAM Act, Undocumented


This thesis writes the history of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM ACT) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Chapter One gives a background history on immigration reforms in the 20th century. Chapter Two focuses on the history of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act). Chapter Three is the immigrant children story. This chapter is an oral history. My main argument is immigrants have always been and still are, easy targets. Politicians create immigrants as scapegoats in order to avoid the social, political, cultural, and economic issues that are affecting people on both sides of the border. They divert attention in order not to deal with the real problems. The DREAM Act 2007 debate clearly shows the arguments of those who are in favor and those who are opposed. Those who are opposed make the argument that undocumented children do not deserve a path to citizenship because they are dangerous, criminals, and are taking Americans’ jobs. What many senators forget is that children immigrating to the U.S. is not new. This has happened for many decades and there is no law in the U.S that protects them or helps them gain citizenship. Senators that are in favor of the DREAM Act argue that these are children that immigrated, and they did not make the choice to come to this country and should not be punished. However, this debate it clearly shows the political usage of immigrant children. How is it that they are going to help the United States? How is the United States going to benefit from having them in the country?