ONLINELives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures

Top Pick March 5, 2021 Free
Roberto Gonzales, Social Work faculty working with undocumented young adults,
Roberto Gonzales (Courtesy photo: Harvard University)

Congregation B’nai Torah invites the community to “Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures,” presented on Zoom by Roberto G. Gonzales, professor of education at Harvard University and director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard.

The evening will begin with a Shabbat service at 7 p.m., followed by Dr. Gonzales’ presentation from 7:45-8:45 p.m.

This event is part of Refugee Shabbat, a project of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), as a moment for congregations, organizations and individuals around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers.

While scholars have long sought to understand the adaptation processes of immigrant children, immigration policy has become increasingly consequential in shaping how immigrant youth adapt, come of age and experience life in the United States. Over the last decade, two measures have characterized U.S. immigration policy. First, this decade has seen a continuation of a policy of heavy immigration enforcement that began to accelerate in the late 1990s, with record numbers of deportations in the early part of the decade. Second, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided a substantial boost for more than 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth and their families. Drawing on a seven-year national study assessing DACA’s impact on young people’s everyday lives and their future outlooks, Gonzales argues that DACA has substantially improved the lives of its beneficiaries and their family members, yet despite the important gains, its limitations leave young people and their families in a precarious position.

Since 2002, Gonzales has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, “Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America,” is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for 12 years. “Lives in Limbo” has won eight major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award and the Society for Social Work and Research Book Award. In addition, Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s DACA program.

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Fact Sheet
Friday, March 5, 2021, 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

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