This page was last updated on October 5, 2020.
825,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has served as a critical relief from deportation and work authorization since 2012. Beyond that, DACA created new avenues of opportunity for these young immigrants to access their American dream. DACA recipients have been able to pursue driver’s licenses and new educational opportunities; access health care; and move into better-aligned, more secure jobs, ultimately deepening their connections and expanding their contributions to the United States.
Although the Trump administration announced the rescission of DACA in September 2017, individuals who had—or who once had—DACA remained eligible to renew their protections as a result of multiple preliminary injunctions issued by federal courts hearing legal challenges to the termination of the initiative.
In November 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the Trump administration’s appeal in three of these cases, and in June 2020, it announced that the administration’s termination of DACA was unlawful. Rather than complying with the court’s decision by continuing to adjudicate DACA renewals as well as reopen the application process to those eligible but not yet protected under DACA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new memo on July 28 making significant changes to DACA while the department conducted the full review required by the Supreme Court ruling. Under the new memo, DACA was once again rescinded in full for the more than 300,000 people—including nearly 56,000 of the youngest potential applicants—who were locked out of applying for initial grants of DACA since the administration’s first rescission effort; although current recipients would be permitted to continue applying to renew protections, the memo cuts the duration of future grants in half to just one year and makes changes to advance parole and other important aspects of DACA.
The lists below include the Center for American Progress’ top recent resources on DACA.
- The Trump Administration Must Immediately Resume Processing New DACA Applications
This column describes the Trump administration’s legal obligations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling and describes the population of people who should have been permitted to apply for protection at that time.
- Supreme Court Ruling Could Clear a Path for Trump Administration To Strip Protections From Hundreds of Thousands of DACA recipients
Written prior to the Supreme Court’s announcement that the Trump administration’s termination of DACA was unlawful, this piece provides month-by-month estimates of DACA recipients who could lose protections as a result.
- What We Know About the Demographics and Economic Impacts of DACA Recipients: Spring 2020 Edition
This piece includes national and state-level data on DACA recipients, their families, and their economic contributions to the United States.
- What We Know About DACA Recipients, by Metropolitan Area: Spring 2020 Edition
This piece includes data on DACA recipients, their families, and their economic contributions in 84 metropolitan areas and 25 major cities.
- A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response
This piece provides details on the 203,000 DACA recipients working in health care, education, and food services occupations at the forefront of the COVID-19 response.
- Dreamers Help Keep the Country Running During the Coronavirus Pandemic
This piece includes interviews with four DACA recipients working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.
- More Than 1,400 Organizations and Individuals Voice Their Support for DACA
This graphic allows viewers to see all signatories on the amicus briefs in support of DACA submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The Medical Profession Has a Diversity Problem. Ending DACA Would Only Make It Worse
This piece highlights the experiences of DACA recipients in health care practitioner and support occupations.
A New Threat to DACA Could Cost States Billions of Dollars
This piece includes annual gross domestic product losses from removing workers with DACA, by state.
What DACA Recipients Stand to Lose—and What States Can Do About It
This piece includes a state landscape of policies related to driver’s licenses, affordable higher education, and occupational licenses for DACA recipients.
5 Things the Trump Administration Can Do Right Now to Protect Dreamers and Show Good Faith
While only Congress can create permanent protections for DACA recipients, this piece provides five actions that President Donald Trump could take to protect them in the meantime.
- LGBTQ Dreamers Fear Detention and Deportation and Need DACA’s Protections
This piece includes data highlighting the heightened state of fear of deportation and detention for LGBTQ DACA recipients under the Trump presidency.
Annual, national surveys of DACA recipients, conducted by Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream; the National Immigration Law Center; and CAP, measure DACA’s impacts on recipients’ lives and are discussed in the columns below:
- 2020 survey: New DHS Policy Threatens To Undo Gains Made by DACA Recipients
- 2019 survey: DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake This November
- 2018 survey: Amid Legal and Political Uncertainty, DACA Remains More Important Than Ever
- 2018 survey: Ending DACA Would Have Wide-Ranging Effects but Immigrant Youth are Fired Up and Politically Engaged
- 2017 survey: DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow
- 2016 survey: New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes
- 2015 survey: Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program’s Impact