Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

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The DACA program was created in 2012 and allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children a temporary reprieve from deportation, legal authorization to work and the ability to obtain a driver's license.

In September 2017, the current administration announced that DACA will be repealed and some of the 800,000 DACA recipients would begin to lose legal status and work authorization as early as March 2018. Several Federal judges have stepped in to protect DACA recipients. These rulings require the Department of Homeland Security to continue processing DACA renewal applications. However, it does not allow people who never previously filed for DACA to submit first time applications.

While we are pleased to see that the Court has decided to apply the law in order to protect the safety and stability of DACA recipients, the only permanent solution is for Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.

Myths and Realities about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Myth 1: The DACA program hurts the economy

REALITY: Research shows that DACA has been beneficial to the U.S. economy and repealing it would cause economic harm. The Cato Institute estimates that repealing DACA would result in a $280 billion economic decline over the next decade, largely due to the loss of tax income that would have been contributed by DACA recipients during that time. Additionally, repealing DACA would cost employers $6 billion in turnover costs (to hire and train new employees to the same level of productivity).

Myth 2: DACA recipients take jobs from American citizens

REALITY: There is no evidence that DACA recipients take jobs from U.S. citizens. Contrary to popular perception, there is not a fixed amount of work available. Often, an increase in the number of workers actually boosts the economy and increases the number of jobs available. Currently, there is a shortage of skilled workers for many jobs in the U.S. and DACA recipients, who tend to have higher levels of education, are filling many of these gaps in our labor market.

Myth 3: The DACA program provides a pathway to citizenship

REALITY: The DACA program allows for a temporary reprieve from deportation, temporary legal status, work authorization, and the ability to obtain a driver's license. DACA recipients must renew every two years and the program does not provide a pathway to citizenship.

Myth 4: DACA recipients are eligible for benefits

REALITY: DACA recipients are not eligible for federal welfare benefits, insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, or other federal benefits. DACA recipients are eligible for emergency Medicaid services and some states have opted to provide additional benefits.

Myth 5: DACA recipients do not pay taxes

REALITY: DACA recipients pay personal income, property and sales taxes. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that DACA recipients and those immediately eligible for DACA contribute $2 billion a year in state and local taxes.

Sources:

The Cato Institute, Barron's, The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, NPR

Media regarding DACA and Neighbors Link

DACA’s end sparks fear, uncertainty for some in Westchester, Westchester Business Journal, September 14, 2017

Richard French Live, "Dreamers" Share Concerns about the Future of DACA (including Neighbors Link staff member Andrea Alarcon)

Richard French Live, Neighbors Link Community Law Practice Director Karin Anderson discusses DACA