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Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies


In response to threatening policies, immigrants are more likely to seek information and mobilize politically, as findings from California in the 1990s and after the 2006 immigration rallies attest. When the immediate crisis recedes, however, will mobilization fade? This paper examines the role of policy threat in shaping the development of the undocumented youth movement in Connecticut through Connecticut Students for a DREAM (C4D). In 2011, undocumented youth in CT were influential in shaping the passage of in-state tuition for undocumented students. In 2012, President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allowed many undocumented youth to attain provisional work permits. Some scholars of policy threat and social movements suggest that following these milestones, undocumented youth activism would recede. To the contrary, drawing on organizational records, press coverage, and interviews with the leaders and other undocumented youth, we find that they have redoubled their efforts in pursuit of a comprehensive pathway to citizenship for themselves and their families. On-going mobilization in the face of diminished threat stems from the incomplete nature of DACA, the continuing threat to their families, and the deft way in which undocumented youth organizations have pivoted to address these concerns.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies. Full text Access is limited to the Trinity campus.