Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Updated National and State-by-State Data Confirm DACA Recipients’ Economic and Social Contributions
Press Release

RELEASE: Updated National and State-by-State Data Confirm DACA Recipients’ Economic and Social Contributions

Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress analysis published today dives into the national and state-by-state demographic and economic impacts that recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have in their communities. The column highlights how DACA recipients continue to give back to the country even as their well-being is at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the key findings at the national level include:

  • On average, DACA recipients arrived in the United States in 1999, at age 7. More than one-third arrived before age 5.
  • The average DACA recipient is now 28 years old, having already waited many years for Congress to resolve their situation and place them on a pathway to citizenship.
  • 254,000 U.S.-born children have at least one parent who is a DACA beneficiary.
  • All told, 5 million people live with a DACA recipient.
  • DACA recipients and their households pay $5.6 billion in federal taxes each year. This is on top of the Social Security and Medicare funds through their payroll tax contributions.
  • After taxes, DACA recipients and their households have a combined $24 billion in spending power.
  • DACA recipients own 56,000 homes, paying $566.9 million per year in mortgages, while other beneficiaries pay $2.3 billion in rental payments each year.

Key findings at the state level include:

  • DACA recipients are significant contributors, paying $3.1 billion in state and local taxes each year.
  • In 42 states and Washington, D.C., DACA recipients and their households pay more than $1 million in state and local taxes each year, with significantly higher contributions—more than $50 million—in a dozen states.
  • Half of U.S. states have more than 10,000 people living in households with a DACA recipient.

“The data speak for themselves and, once again, confirm the tremendous impact that DACA recipients have and how rooted they are in the fabric of American society,” says Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, associate director for research on the Immigration Policy team at CAP and co-author of this analysis. “In a period of crisis such as the one we are experiencing today due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this economic activity is crucial for states to continue operating and to have some budget available to respond to this emergency. DACA recipients contribute to that.”

“The fact that the Trump administration continues its efforts to rescind DACA makes no sense: Nearly 650,000 DACA recipients live and raise 254,000 U.S.-citizen children, and pay $8.7 million in taxes each year,” says Philip E. Wolgin, co-author of the column and managing director of Immigration Policy at CAP. “Even more, ending DACA while the nation faces challenges like never before due to the global pandemic would be morally reprehensible and incredibly counterproductive, while many recipients are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Now is the time to continue to protect DACA recipients, their families, and their communities.”

Related resources:

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