Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Shampa Biswas


This project examines the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era immigration policy that provided temporary work permits for a particular set of young, undocumented migrants. I am interested in the ways that DACA became a site where “the nation” was debated, articulated, formed, and contested. Public discourses about DACA are not just about immigration policy: they are doing important political work in the reproduction of the national imaginary. To uncover the nature of that work, I pose the following question: How did discourses in the national print media surrounding the rollout of DACA interact with, (re)produce, and/or contest the boundaries of the American “nation”? Paying particular attention to the ways in which narratives about migrant assimilation interacted with race, precarity, and legal status, I analyze a set of articles published in the New York Times in order to interrogate how a “common sense” understanding of the nation was reproduced.

Page Count


Subject Headings

New York times‚ Emigration and immigration -- Government policy -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) -- United States‚ Illegal aliens‚ Immigrants‚ Noncitizens‚ Unauthorized immigration‚ Discourse analysis -- Political aspects‚ Press -- Influence‚ Communities‚ Common sense‚ Social sciences‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Politics Department

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis



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