Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA

06/16/14, Immigration Policy Center

children northern Mexico credit Kelly DonlanThis week marks the two-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, first initiated by President Obama on June 15, 2012.  This research brief presents current findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP) national survey on the impact that DACA has had on some of the young people who have received it.

We find that DACA beneficiaries have experienced a pronounced increase in economic opportunities, and that these benefits appear to be the strongest for those attending four-year colleges and those with college degrees. In addition to the importance of postsecondary education, our findings also highlight a strong work ethic among DACAmented young adults that has significant implications for their new status as contributors to our nation’s economy. Our study findings also demonstrate the important role played by community organizations in assisting DACA applicants and in helping them make the most of their benefits.

While our study shows that DACA is having a positive impact on many of its beneficiaries, its benefits are only partial. Based on our research, we provide recommendations aimed at bolstering DACA’s effectiveness and more fully addressing the needs of immigrant young adults and their families.

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‘Dreamers’ Convene to Celebrate—and Embrace Parents

Wall Street Journal, 12/02/2012

immigration marchEmboldened by a new program that allows them to remain in the U.S., hundreds of undocumented youth at a conference Sunday decided that their next goal is to urge Washington to devise a policy that also brings their illegal-immigrant parents out of the shadows. “As we celebrate our victory, we remember our moms and dads, uncles and aunts…who are still undocumented,” Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, which represents young undocumented people, told about 600 members here.

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In Arizona, young illegal immigrants battle governor’s policy

Los Angeles Times, 8/29/2012

Gov. Brewer

Under the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, illegal immigrants younger than 31 who came to the U.S. before age 16 are eligible if they are enrolled in school, graduated from high school or served in the U.S. armed forces, and have no criminal record, among other criteria.

But Brewer signed an executive order directing Arizona state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to illegal immigrants here even though they qualify for the Obama program. No federal program, the governor says, gives undocumented immigrants legal status in her state.

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