Center for American Progress

RELEASE: DACA Recipients and Their Families Are Key Players in Metro Economies Across the Country
Press Release

RELEASE: DACA Recipients and Their Families Are Key Players in Metro Economies Across the Country

Washington, D.C. — With the U.S. Supreme Court about to decide whether the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was lawful, updated data confirm how DACA recipients contribute to local economies. The column, published today by the Center for American Progress, provides individualized data on the demographic ties and economic contributions of DACA recipients and their families in 84 metropolitan areas and 25 cities across the country.

DACA recipients have been key contributors to American society, and nearly 650,000 of them are deeply rooted community members in the country today. Since coming to the United States on average in 1999 at the age of 7, DACA beneficiaries have been able to build their lives here. Furthermore, during the pandemic, more than 200,000 of them work in essential roles to fight against COVID-19.

Key findings of their impact in metro areas include:

  • In each of the 10 largest metropolitan areas for DACA recipients, more than 25,000 individuals live in a household with a DACA recipient.
  • Los Angeles is the largest metropolitan home for DACA recipients: 198,800 people, including 26,500 of their U.S.-born children, live with DACA beneficiaries.
  • DACA recipients and their households pay at least $2.5 million in state and local taxes each year in 79 metropolitan areas.
  • In 19 metropolitan areas, that tax revenue is more than $25 million.
  • In a dozen metropolitan areas, DACA recipients pay more than a combined $50 million in rental payments annually in each of those metro areas.
  • DACA recipients own at least 1,000 homes in 10 metropolitan areas, contributing millions of dollars in annual mortgage payments.

“The Supreme Court decision will not only affect DACA recipients and their families, but also their hometowns,” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, associate director for research on the Immigration Policy team at CAP and author of the column. “DACA recipients are not only part of the American society in its core, but they also make critical fiscal and economic contributions through tax revenue and housing payments. A Supreme Court ruling that gives the Trump administration the green light to end DACA would not only be morally wrong but would also be another blow to local economies amid the current economic crisis.”

The column also includes a downloadable spreadsheet containing demographic estimates and economic contributions for the metropolitan areas—and major cities located within them—that are home to more than 1,000 DACA recipients.

Read the column: “What We Know About DACA Recipients, by Metropolitan Area: Spring 2020 Edition” by Nicole Prchal Svajlenka

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For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at