Economic Benefits of DACA
In December 2020, USCIS began accepting DACA applications, renewal requests, and applications for advance parole. Just over a month later, President Biden signed an executive action to preserve and fortify DACA, marking a significant success for those seeking protection from removal.
So, what is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) went into effect on June 15, 2012. It allows certain people who came to the US as children and meet various guidelines to request consideration of deferred action for 2 years, subject to renewal. In other words, DACA defers deportation against a person for a certain period of time but does not provide lawful status.
DACA recipients are eligible for work authorization which, in turn, helps our economy. According to research from the American Action Forum (AAF), DACA recipients contribute about $3.4 billion annually to the federal balance sheet and, as of 2017, they contribute nearly $42 billion to the annual US GDP with an average economic contribution of $109,000 per worker. AAF research further revealed the removing all DACA recipients would cost between $7 billion and $21 billion, reducing US GDP by 0.4%.
As you can see, DACA significantly helps the economy.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Data analyses by the New American Economy Research Fund (NAE) further supports the fact that the DACA program has a positive impact on the US economy. NAE analyses reveal the following:
- The DACA-eligible population earned $23.4 billion in 2017, up from almost $19.9 billion in 2015
- 93.3% of DACA-eligible individuals were actively employed in 2017
- DACA-eligible individuals paid more than $2.2 billion in federal taxes, according to NAE estimates
- In 2017, DACA-eligible individuals paid $1.8 billion in state and local taxes
- The DACA-eligible population alone included 43,000 entrepreneurs, or self-employed workers, in 2017
- In 2017, almost 3 out of every 5 DACA-eligible individuals lived in California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois, earning more than a $1 billion combined
- DACA-eligible individuals contributed more than $100 million in state and local taxes in each state, led by $581.3 million in taxes in California and $313.6 million in Texas
- The 43,600+ DACA-eligible residents in Georgia earned $730.9 million in 2017, giving them almost $610.3 million in spending power after taxes
- In Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, and Colorado, their spending power ranged from roughly $400 to $500 million that year
A DACA study conducted by Nolan G. Pope that was published in the Journal of Public Economics in 2016 revealed that “DACA moved between 50,000 and 75,000 immigrants into employment from either outside the formal labor force or unemployment and increased the average income of immigrants in the bottom of the income distribution.” Pope explains that, as a result of earning a higher income and having greater spending power, DACA workers pay more taxes through payroll, income, and sales.
With all these statistics in mind, it is clear that DACA results in a positive fiscal impact.
As attorneys who focus exclusively on immigration law, we have long known the positive impacts of DACA. The benefits of DACA extend beyond economics, and we firmly believe that this program is essential to our nation. With the recent reinstatement of DACA, our lawyers can walk you through the process and help you understand your options.
To learn more, reach out to us at (972) 497-1017 today!