Since its inception, the Niskanen Center has advocated for permanent legal status for Dreamers and DACA recipients who came to the US decades ago as children. Today, Dreamers are professionals, parents, homeowners, and important members of their communities, yet their future is more precarious than ever. The potential expulsion of this population would have devastating and lasting economic, financial, familial, and societal repercussions.
The vast majority of Americans — regardless of political affiliation — support permanently protecting Dreamers from deportation. As hundreds of thousands of Dreamers wait for the courts to decide their fate, Congress continues to eagerly side-step their responsibility to pass a legislative solution. Niskanen urges lawmakers to hash out the details of a compromise solution before it’s too late.
Downloadable DACA Recipients Infographics
To read more about the demographics and contributions of Dreamers and to learn more about Niskanen’s prior work in this space, please see the DACA and immigration policy reform resources outlined below.
DACA & Immigration Policy Reform Resources
- Marriages and Mortgages: The DACA “Kids” Are Growing Up – 2/16/22
- American Families Plan Includes Educational Opportunities for Dreamers – 5/17/21
- Why DACA Recipients Should Be Eligible for Jobs in the Federal Government – 4/8/21
- SCOTUS Weighs in on DACA—The Decision Explained and What’s Next – 6/19/20
- Two Ways Congress and DHS Can Protect DACA Recipients on the COVID-19 Frontlines – 4/2/20
- What Has Changed in the Two Years Since the Senate Voted Down DACA Legislation? – 2/20/20
- The ‘New’ Case for Protecting DACA Recipients – 1/21/20
- The Time to Act on DACA Is Well Past Due – 11/12/19
- Niskanen Center Signs onto Amicus Brief in Support of DACA – 7/24/18
- Anti-Democratic Populism Caused the Dreamer Impasse – 2/9/18
- Three Bipartisan Immigration Reforms Congress Can Pass – 11/16/17
- Praise for the SUCCEED Act – 9/26/17
- An Unexpected Opportunity to Protect Dreamers – 9/14/17
- Why the Logic of Populism Favors Amnesty for “Dreamers” – 9/7/17
- Legal Status and the Mental Health of US Citizens – 9/5/17
- What have Republicans said about Dreamers? – 8/30/17
- One-Party Immigration Reform Is Not an Option – 8/2/17
- Congress Needs to Provide Dreamers with Permanent Protection – 7/31/17
- Seventy-Five Percent of Trump Voters Want Legal Status for Dreamers – 7/10/17
- Congress Should Pass the GOP’s RAC Act to Protect Dreamers – 6/12/17
- Why Republicans Should Want to Expand Protection from Deportation – 2/8/17
- DACA Salvation Rests with Lawmakers, Not Trump – 11/28/16
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Not Deferred Action, is the Only Long-Term Immigration Fix – 7/7/15
- DACA’s Three-Year Anniversary – 6/15/15
- New GAO Report Provides No Evidence that Obama Drove Kids North – 3/3/15
- Examining the UAC-DACA Link: New Data Show Child Migrant Crisis Began Before DACA – 2/9/15
Who are DACA recipients?
- The average DACA recipient is a single, 28 year old woman who has lived in the U.S. for over 20 years, has attended college, and is now actively employed in the American economy. She was brought to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 7. She received nearly all of her formal education and has spent the entirety of her adult life in the United States.
- DACA recipients are the parents of 300,000 U.S. citizen children.
- Nearly 8 in 10 DACA recipients have U.S. citizen parents, children, or siblings.
- 9000 DACA recipients worked as teachers in 2017, the equivalent of all public school teachers in Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Buffalo combined.
- Overall, DACA recipients have higher levels of educational attainment and labor force participation than the general U.S. population.
- 73% of DACA recipients do not have an immediate relative in their country of origin.
Economic contributions of DACA recipients and the high cost of their removal:
- DACA recipients contribute nearly $42 billion to the U.S. GDP every year, averaging over $109,000 per worker.
- DACA recipient households hold $25.3 billion in spending power after taxes.
- DACA recipients are responsible for $272 billion in mortgage and rental payments every month.
- Deporting DACA recipients would cost American taxpayers between 7 and 21 billion dollars in removal costs, depending on the methods utilized.
- It would cost U.S. employers another $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs and would represent the loss of nearly $40 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions over the next 10 years.
- Removing DACA recipients would mean the loss of $3.3 billion in annual mortgage and rental payments.
- The deportation of DACA parents would harm U.S. citizen children. Removing a parent from a child’s home is associated with:
- 15-17% decrease in likelihood of graduating high school
- Increased financial hardship
- Declining academic performance
- Increased depression and anxiety
If placed in foster care, these children could cost federal and state governments between 5 and 14 billion dollars every year.