The following analysis focuses on the DREAMer social movement, named after activist efforts that gave birth to the D.R.E.A.M. Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), and its use of new media engagement. Effectively, the DREAMER population is a sub-group that is part of the larger undocumented immigrant rights movement in the Untied States. They are also the most successful portion of this movement, given that a comprehensive immigration reform has not been able become a legislative reality, but a deportation relief for DREAMERS has. Therefore, a question arises: why has the DREAMER movement been able to produce policy changes and the larger movement has not?
When analyzing the larger immigration reform movement from a policy perspective, we can turn to the Kingdon Model of Policy Making (Kingdon 1984). This model functions under the premise that national, state, and local agendas are only able to address a couple of issues at a given time. Therefore, a particular issue will only become a priority when certain things happen parallel to each other:
- PROBLEM: There is a problem; it must be clear, visible, and compelling with a sense of urgency.
- PROPOSAL: There is a defined, articulate, answer-solution proposal with analysis, data, facts, and evidence. It should demonstrate that the problem can be solved if congress is ready to act and there is support of citizens.
- POLITICS: There is political support; this can come in a variety of formats, but usually through: votes, having the right people in the right places, having sufficient funds (e.g. media influence- to get on a vote ballot), a spokesperson, etc.
There is many existing literature on the specific ways that DREAMers have engaged in the use of new media, therefore, this analysis does not aim to reiterate this. Rather, this analysis focuses on how, through the use of new media, the DREAMer movement was able to reshape their narrative which influenced public opinion and exerted the political pressure that gave birth to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).