The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has improved the lives of its recipients, helped raise wages and get jobs that better match their skills, according to an early survey from a nationwide survey of DACA recipients.
DACA allows unauthorized immigrants who entered at a young age to apply for temporary deportation deferrals, and just marked its third anniversary. To date, 665,000 people have received DACA although 1.17 million individuals are eligible to apply to the program.
The online survey, conducted by the National Immigration Law Center, the Center for American Progress, and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, found that DACA increased recipients’ average hourly wages by 45 percent. The study is one of the first to quantify the wage effect of having deferred action.
The survey also found that after receiving DACA, 92 percent of the respondents who are currently in school say that, because of the benefits, “I pursued educational opportunities that I previously could not.”
The survey was conducted during the month of June with a sample size of 546 respondents. Of these respondents, 467 are DACA recipients.
More Key Findings:
- 96 percent of respondents are currently employed or in school.
- 76 percent of respondents are currently employed, with an additional 20 percent not working but in school, after receiving DACA.
- 65 percent of respondents are currently in school. Of these, 70 percent are currently working as well.
- 92 percent of the respondents who are currently in school say that, because of DACA, “I pursued educational opportunities that I previously could not.”
- 69 percent of respondents report moving to a job with better pay; 57 percent report moving to a job that “better fits my education and training;” and 54 percent report moving to a job with better working conditions.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents—62 percent—“have been able to earn more money, which has helped me become financially independent.”
- 89 percent of respondents have obtained a driver’s license or state ID for the first time after receiving DACA.
- 45 percent of respondents have siblings who are citizens, while 40 percent have a parent who is eligible to apply for deferred action under DAPA.