RELEASE: Ending DACA Would Hurt the Economies of Many U.S. Metropolitan Areas, New Column Finds

Washington, D.C. — As the  U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide the legality of the Trump administration ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA)—and with it, the fate of thousands of DACA recipients starting this November—a new column released today by the Center for American Progress digs into the major role DACA recipients play in contributing to local communities. If the 661,000 active DACA recipients were to lose their protections, it would have a significant impact on the economies of many metro areas.

The study looks at the places DACA recipients and their families call home. Data for 86 metropolitan areas across the country can be found in the column’s downloadable spreadsheet, which highlights, among other data points:

  • Mixed-status families in the Mountain West metro areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver
  • U.S.-born children of DACA recipients in Texas metro areas
  • Tax contributions in Midwestern metro areas such as Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and Detroit
  • Mortgage and rental payments in Southeastern metro areas such as Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina.

DACA recipients in metro areas around the country pay substantial federal, state, and local taxes annually, as well as mortgage and rental payments. For example, the study finds that DACA recipient households pay:

  • $49.4 million in federal taxes and $25.9 million in state and local taxes in Minneapolis
  • $36.2 million in federal taxes and $19 million in state and local taxes in Indianapolis
  • $29.4 million in federal taxes and $13.6 million in state and local taxes in Detroit
  • $25.6 million in federal taxes and $14.5 million in state and local taxes in the Kansas City metro area
  • $78.1 million in mortgage and rental payments in the Atlanta metro area
  • $43.3 million in mortgage and rental payments in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
  • $19.5 million and $17.8 million in mortgage and rental payments in the North Carolina metro areas of Charlotte and Raleigh, respectively

Moreover, 256,000 U.S.-born children have parents who are DACA recipients across the country. In the Houston and Dallas metro areas alone, 14,000 children have a parent who is a DACA recipient. The McAllen, San Antonio, and Austin metro areas are each home to 2,000 to 3,000 children who have a parent who is a DACA recipient.

“The data illustrate the deep ties that DACA recipients have to the cities and suburbs around the country,” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at CAP and author of the column. “From paying taxes to buying homes to raising U.S.-citizen children, DACA recipients are part of the fabric of communities from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Losing their protections would affect not only their families, but also communities across the country.”

Related resource: 

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at or 202-418-8145