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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: DACA Recipients Help Keep the Country Running During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Press Release

RELEASE: DACA Recipients Help Keep the Country Running During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. — Like many other Americans, DACA recipients are fighting against the spread of the coronavirus while helping to keep the country working on many fronts during this pandemic. A new column published today by the Center for American Progress focuses on the stories of four DACA recipients who are making a difference during this fight, showing once again how deeply rooted Dreamers are in their communities.

A kindergarten teacher in Austin, Texas, concerned for her students; an entrepreneurial food truck owner who helps feed office workers in Denver, Colorado; a physician, battling the coronavirus on the frontlines at a hospital in Southern California; and a paramedic in Houston, Texas, responding to 911 calls, including those from residents sick with COVID-19. The latter are just two of the estimated 27,000 DACAmented medical professionals whose skills and talents have never been in greater need as the pandemic continues its rampage.

“Every one of these stories confirms what we see in the numbers: DACA recipients have a huge positive impact in the communities to which they belong. They belong fully in this country—their home—and they are strong contributors to the social fabric of local communities, helping to fuel the economy,” says Stephanie Griffith, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the column. “Ending DACA would be counterproductive and cruel and would leave people like the ones in this column vulnerable to deportation at a time when we most need them.”

“We know DACA recipients hold $24.1 billion in spending power, and contribute over $8.8 billion in federal, local, and states taxes. Ending the program and thus removing hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients from the workforce would be potentially devastating to the economy, especially during an ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” explains Claudia Flores, immigration campaign manager at CAP. “On average, DACA recipients came to the U.S. at the age of 7. They are our friends, coworkers, and neighbors. This is their home, and just like all Americans, DACA recipients are faced with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Deporting Dreamers would be inhumane and shortsighted, and the nation cannot afford more loss.”

Related sources:

They Can Help Fight Coronavirus. Trump Wants to Deport Them” by Stephanie Griffith

Resources on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” by CAP’s Immigration team

Removing Barriers for Immigrant Medical Professionals Is Critical To Help Fight Coronavirus” by Silva Mathema

Immigrant Doctors Can Help Lower Physician Shortages in Rural America” by Silva Mathema

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, please visit our coronavirus resource page.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Claudia Montecinos at [email protected].