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Idea of the Day: A Nationwide Analysis of DACA’s First Year

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Immigration status has an enormous impact on the lives of millions of undocumented young people across the United States. Being undocumented can stop people’s dreams, curtail their ambitions, and can mean that daily life is fraught with risks and the fear of deportation.

In an effort to address some of the challenges that undocumented youth face, President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program on June 15, 2012. As an exercise in administrative discretion—unlike a legislative effort—DACA does not give undocumented youth lawful permanent resident status such as a green card or provide a path to permanent residency and citizenship. Rather, it gives temporary relief from deportation to undocumented youth and work authorization that can be renewed every two years to eligible applicants. Nevertheless, the DACA announcement represented a victory for undocumented youth and their allies; more than half a million young people to date have applied for deferred action.

For more on this topic, please see:

  • Undocumented No More by Tom K. Wong, Angela S. García, Marisa Abrajano, David FitzGerald, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Sally Le

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here