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Top 10 Facts: DACA and DREAMers

  1. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program was created by President Obama and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in 2012. To qualify, immigrants had to have come to the United States before their 16th birthday and have never been convicted of a felony, among other requirements.

  2. As of March 2017, USCIS received 936,394 requests for DACA status (for comparison, about the size of the population of Austin, Texas) and 952,917 renewals. Of those, it approved 886,814 requests and 884,661 renewals.

  3. California, Texas, and New York had the highest number of DACA applicants. Estimates put the total number of approved applicants from those three states alone at over 750,000.

  4. The majority of DREAMer applicants are from Mexico. 1.2 million total applications listed Mexico as country of origin.

  5. As of 2013, 54% of DACA applicants were under the age of 21. Today, the average age of a DACA recipient is 25.

  6. El Salvador and Guatemala are the second and third largest groups of DREAMers. This does not account for the 2014-2016 surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America – those individuals did not qualify under DACA’s restrictions.

  7. Rescinding DACA and deporting everyone eligible for the program would shrink the population by over 1 million working-age individuals, the vast majority of whom contribute to the U.S. economy. A 2016 Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) survey of DACA recipients found that over 40 percent of respondents landed their first job after enrolling in DACA, while over 60 percent secured a job with higher pay.

  8. Fewer workers means less economic growth, and therefore less tax revenue. According to research from ITEP, 1.3 million DACA recipients and potential enrollees contribute an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes. And repealing DACA would lead to $60 billion in foregone federal revenue over ten years, according to the Cato Institute.

  9. According to a 2016 ITEP survey, DACA enrollment allowed 60 percent of respondents to access to educational opportunities that previously had been unavailable to them. Rescinding DACA policy would reverse this trend, which would likely hamper innovation and put downward pressure on economic growth.

  10. ITEP found that continuing the DACA program and accepting all eligible applicants would increase estimated state and local revenue by $425 million. The organization also estimates that replacing DACA with a path to citizenship could provide $505 million in state and local taxes.

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