Center for American Progress

The Positive Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The Positive Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

A more permanent solution in the form of comprehensive immigration reform legislation—anchored by a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—would yield even greater benefits and provide increased prosperity for all Americans.

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idea_bulbIn June, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program—which allows eligible unauthorized immigrants who entered the country at a young age to apply for temporary deferrals of deportations and work permits—marked its third anniversary. To date, roughly 665,000 people have received DACA. A number of early surveys illustrate that DACA has improved the lives of its recipients, and economic impact analyses have found that wages rise as recipients gain work authorization, get jobs that better match their skills and training, and invest more in higher education.

Following up on these studies, the National Immigration Law Center, or NILC, the Center for American Progress, and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego, conducted a national survey to analyze the economic and educational outcomes of DACA recipients. The results add to a growing body of research that illustrates how DACA significantly affects recipients. A full 96 percent of respondents are currently employed or in school. Many are getting better, higher-paying jobs than they had before they received DACA.

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