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The Impact of DACA

October 3, 2019

The Trump administration fails to understand the negative impacts that ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program would have not only on the lives of recipients and their families, but also on the United States economy and culture. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce details that deporting DACA recipients could cost $60 billion and reduce economic growth by $280 billion. In total, repealing the DACA Program could cost the U.S. over $460 billion in economic output over a decade.  

These numbers include turnover costs for hiring and training new employees, loss in federal, local and state taxes, and much more. Overall, the data shows just how necessary the DACA Program is to this country.  

Legally, DACA has made it possible for some immigrants to live without fear of deportation: the right to apply for a social security number, obtain a driver’s license, receive employment authorization and access financial aid for higher education. With a DACA permit, recipients are protected and given a sense of security they otherwise wouldn’t have, but they are not granted the protection of citizenship. 

Still, those who applied for DACA needed to meet certain requirements. In this case, to have arrived in the U.S. under the age of 16, have lived there since June 15, 2007 and not have been over the age of 30 when the government officially passed this legislation. 

Since the Obama Administration passed DACA in 2012, approximately 800,000 recipients have taken advantage of the new rights and protections granted to them. According to USA Today, 97% of DACA recipients are employed or enrolled in school. 

DACA recipients are a living embodiment of the American dream. The impact that these individuals have on society and the economy is incredibly valuable.  

DACA Statistics

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that more than 5% of DACA recipients under age 25 have started a small business, while 8% of Dreamers over 25 years old are entrepreneurs and employing workers. In addition, about 24% of DACA recipients over age 25 have bought their first home. 

These statistics show the extent of what immigrants have accomplished with a DACA permit.  

We at Canal Alliance know that when we level the playing field for immigrants who are challenged by a lack of resources and an unfamiliar environment, they can begin to soar. DACA is a perfect example of what immigrants can achieve when given equal rights and opportunity.  

For instance, the San Francisco metropolitan area, (which includes Oakland and Hayward) consists of 14,110 DACA recipients. While this may not seem like an impressive number, the impact of these individuals is significant. The Center for American Progress reveals that these DACA recipients pay $277,200,00 in federal taxes and $118,500,000 in state/local taxes per year. 

Furthermore, DACA recipients in the San Francisco metropolitan area pay $15,800,000 in mortgage payments and $82,400,000 in rental payments a year. The combined spending power of DACA recipients in this metropolitan area is $855,300,000. The Center for American Progress maintains that: “spending power is measured as household income after federal, state, and local tax contributions; these data are based on household incomes, which are available in the ACS microdata.”  

This country cannot afford to lose these community members; our society depends on DACA recipients. Their impact extends far beyond the economy, they are an integral part of the social fabric of the United States.  

However, because the Supreme Court has yet to make an official announcement on the future of DACA, it is imperative that DACA recipients who currently have or previously had DACA, submit applications to renew their Deferred Action. The Supreme court will make their final announcement no later than June 2020.  

At Canal Alliance we strive for justice. We are driven by the belief that every single person, regardless of where he or she was born, is entitled to the same opportunity to live a happy life. 

If you would like to schedule your DACA renewal appointment with Canal Alliance, please contact the Canal Alliance Immigration Legal Services Team at 415-306-0437 or email immigration@canalalliance.org

For individuals who wish to renew their DACA, please visit our resources page for important information on who is eligible to renew and what you need to bring with you to an appointment. 

Lastly, Canal Alliance invites the community to come out on October 17th and see Waking Dream, a DACA film screeningWaking Dream tells the stories of six undocumented young people waiting in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship. 

A panel discussion will follow the film featuring director Theo Rigby, film subject Steve Li, and Canal Alliance Director of Immigration and Social Services, Lucia Martel-Dow. Join the conversation about our current immigration crisis and learn what Canal Alliance is doing to support immigrants here in Marin. 

Read more posts in: Immigration

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