A nationwide survey released this week on recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows eligible unauthorized immigrants who entered the country as children to apply for work permits and relief from deportation, illustrates the program’s impact on national employment, wages and education.
The survey shows the broad economic and societal benefits for those covered under DACA: 96 percent of respondents are currently employed or in school, and many are getting better, higher-paying jobs and pursuing education opportunities that were previously unavailable to them.
This survey, which was conducted by the National Immigration Law Center, the Center for American Progress and Professor Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego, is one of the first to systematically quantify average wages before and after DACA, with data from the survey showing that average hourly wages rose by 45 percent after DACA.
Approximately 665,000 young immigrants have been granted coverage under DACA to date, and evidence of the significant improvements this program has on their lives points toward a need for greater expansion. Last November President Obama took executive action and announced an expanded version of the current DACA program as well as a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Both of these programs are currently on hold before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will take place on July 10, 2015. Due to the delay in program implementation the lives of millions of immigrants and their families have been placed on hold.