Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The American Immigration Council has released Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA by Roberto G. Gonzales, Ph.D. and Angie M. Bautista-Chavez. To date, more than 550,000 individuals have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. DACA provides a two-year renewable reprieve from deportation and allows beneficiaries to obtain work permits and, in nearly every state, driver’s licenses.
Shortly after the program began, Harvard University Professor Roberto G. Gonzales launched the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP) to assess the impact that DACA has had on some of the young people who have received it. At DACA’s one-year anniversary, the American Immigration Council released some of the preliminary findings of the NURP study, however, now that the program has been in effect for two years, much more has been learned.
The survey results find that DACA beneficiaries have experienced a pronounced increase in economic opportunities, and the newly DACAmented young adults demonstrate a strong work ethic that has significant implications for their new status as contributors to our nation’s economy.
The study also uncovers the important role played by community organizations in assisting DACA applicants and in helping them make the most of their benefits. The report also provides recommendations aimed at bolstering DACA’s effectiveness and more fully addressing the needs of immigrant young adults and their families.