Research Areas

Shaping the Future of DACA: Bridging Research and Policy



Thursday, February 22, 2018
Columbia School of Social Work
Concourse Level
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027




In September 2017, President Trump announced an order to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), slated to take effect in six months, while urging Congress to replace DACA with comprehensive immigration reform. DACA, a five-year-old policy, has provided temporary protection to about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as “minors” from deportation and provide them with a work “permit.” The impending end of DACA raises many urgent questions about the impact and future of DACA, a debate that has occurred in a policy and national context that is often devoid of scientific evidence, despite the existence of rigorous and innovative research that shows that DACA has clearly benefited recipients of the program.

This conference, organized to precede the immediate ending of DACA in March 2018, will bring together academics, policymakers and activists to engage in a discussion on the past, present and future of DACA and its impacts on the immigrant and local communities across the country.


12:00-12:30 p.m.: Networking Lunch

12:30-12:45 p.m.: Welcome and Introductions
Jennifer Hirsch (Professor of Sociomedical Sciences & CPRC Co-Director, Columbia University)

12:45-2:00 p.m.: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on DACA
Mae Ngai (Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, Columbia University)
DACA and Legalization in Historical Perspective
Elizabeth Vaquera (Associate Professor of Sociology, George Washington University)
Personal and Cultural Trauma: The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Undocumented Young Immigrants and their Families
Chris Zepeda-Millan (Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley)
DACA and Immigrant Rights Activism Under Trump

Moderator: Neeraj Kaushal (Professor of Social Policy, Columbia University)

2:00-2:15 p.m.: Break

2:15-3:30 p.m.: Economic, Political and Social Impact of DACA
Francesc Ortega (Dina Axelrad Perry Associate Professor of Economics, Queens College of CUNY)
The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers
Caitlin Patler (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis)
Immigration Status and Psychological Wellbeing: A Representative Study of the Impacts of DACA in California, 2012-2016
Tom K. Wong (Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego)
Title TBA

Moderator: Yao Lu (Associate Professor of Sociology, Columbia University)

3:30-3:45p.m.: Break

3:45-5:15 p.m.: Policy Perspectives on the Future of DACA
Janet Calvo (Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law)
State Policies Promoting DACA Recipients’ Access to Healthcare, Education and Professional Licensing
Cristina Jimenez (Executive Director and Co-Founder, United We Dream)
Title TBA
Anu Joshi (Director of Immigration Policy, New York Immigration Coalition)
What Do Family Unification, Diversity Visas and Border Security Have To Do With DACA? Not Much and, Unfortunately, Everything
Donald M. Kerwin Jr., (Executive Director of Center for Migration Studies)

Moderator: Sally Findley (Professor of Population and Family Health & Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University)

5:15-5:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks
Suzanne Goldberg (Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law & EVP for University Life, Columbia University)

5:30-6:00 p.m.: Reception


Conference co-sponsors:

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Columbia School of Social Work
Columbia University Office of University Life
Columbia University Office of Government and Community Affairs 
Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race 


Conference co-organizers:
Sally Findley (Professor of Population and Family Health & Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University)
Neeraj Kaushal (Professor of Social Policy, Columbia University)
Yao Lu (Associate Professor of Sociology, Columbia University)
Van Tran (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Columbia University)