The Use of Twitter to #DefendDACA & DREAMers

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Digital activism, DACA, DREAMers, Twitter, social media, digital media


The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as the welfare of its recipients, in the United State has become a constant feature in the news since President Trump announced his intentions to end the program in September 2017. In response, a social movement of significance was engineered utilizing social media as one of its core pillars to support the program. This study analyzes the content of tweets with the #DefendDACA hashtag, tweeted within 30 days of Trump’s initial announcement, in order to understand the intersection of digital activism and DACA, including functions, purpose, and tone. Results from the analysis found tweets primarily centered on call-to-action, asking participants to defend DACA. Tweets also disseminated vital information, particularly with a positive tone. These findings aid in explaining the movement’s strength.


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Author Biographies

Mariana De Maio, Lehigh University

political attitudes and behavior, digital media activism, influences in journalistic practices, and portrayals of women and other underrepresented/misrepresented groups in media

Nathian Shae Rodriguez, San Diego State University

critical-cultural and digital media studies, critical communication pedagogy, and pop culture pedagogy, LGBTQ and Latinx portrayals and intersectional identity negotiation


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How to Cite

De Maio, M., & Shae Rodriguez, N. (2022). The Use of Twitter to #DefendDACA & DREAMers. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 9(2), 49–65.



Original Manuscript
Received 2021-09-26
Accepted 2022-02-04
Published 2022-04-06