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DHS action may pose setback to DACA recipients

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2020 | family immigration

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows undocumented young people to work in the U.S. and avoid deportation. 

The Center for American Progress studied recent actions by the Department of Homeland Security to limit DACA protections. 

DHS announcement threatens DACA

DHS plans to turn down new applications for DACA. The agency also intends to reduce renewal periods from two years to one year. A pending lawsuit continues to challenge these policy changes. 

DACA recipients fear that having their status renewed in only one-year increments may threaten their jobs or ability to stay in college. This change in renewal term may also create an affordability barrier for some DACA recipients, as each renewal costs $495. 

Renewals may take almost a year to process. If recipients must request annual renewals, the paperwork backlog may get worse. This could cause some individuals’ status to lapse as they wait for their renewal. 

DACA recipients make contributions to U.S. economy

Over 825,000 young people have received DACA status since 2012. CAP joined with other groups to survey almost 1,200 DACA recipients across the country. Almost 92% of respondents reported they are in school or working. This study demonstrates how DACA allows young people to contribute to the U.S. economy: 

  • Six percent started new businesses 
  • Almost 17% obtained professional licenses 
  • Over 63% found work with better pay 
  • Respondents’ average hourly wage increased by 111%, from $12 per hour to $25 per hour 
  • Recipients stimulate local economies by purchasing large items such as homes and autos 

The American Immigration Council reports that as of March 2020, over 2,700 DACA recipients lived in Kentucky. DACA recipients provide an economic boost to the state. In 2018, DACA recipients and immigrants eligible for DACA paid over $8 million in state and local taxes.