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'Dreamers’, (un)deserving immigrants and generational interdependence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
Article numbere2370
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Population, Space and Place
Issue number6
Volume26
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/07/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Undocumented young people known as the ‘Dreamers’ have become the embodiment of the ‘deserving immigrant’ in US public debates on immigration. Through exploring the narratives of undocumented young organisers in California, this article examines how they came to be framed in this way and the limitations of this as a pathway to social justice. It explores their accounts of organising in the undocumented youth movement to examine how their relationships with their families have influenced their engagement with the Dreamer narrative and its contestation. It was found that the figure of the deserving Dreamer represented an overly individualised account of migrant youth experiences and trajectories. Drawing on a relational understanding of migration and life course pathways, it is argued that undocumented youth are embedded in interdependent intergenerational relationships which affect their experiences and outcomes and therefore need to be recognised in any pathway to social justice.