Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program threatens the safety, economic security, and well-being of tens of thousands of LGBT immigrants and places them in danger of deportation to countries where their lives are at risk.
A new analysis from the Center for American Progress of the largest survey of DACA recipients to date shows how the program has helped LGBT recipients make significant economic and educational gains. With DACA, LGBT people have been able to secure better paying jobs and pursue educational opportunities that were previously out of reach.
The move to eliminate DACA puts these gains in jeopardy. It not only puts their economic security at risk, but it also puts their physical safety and even their lives in danger. LGBT identities are criminalized in much of the world, making deportation a possible death sentence for LGBT immigrants.
The new data comes during a week that CAP is focusing on the people affected by the decision to end DACA. Highlights of the survey’s findings include:
- DACA helped LGBT immigrants more fully participate in the workforce. Employment rates for LGBT survey respondents rose from 55.8 percent before DACA to 94.5 percent with DACA.
- DACA allowed LGBT immigrants to secure better-paying jobs with benefits. The average hourly wages for LGBT survey respondents rose 73.7 percent, and 63.4 percent had jobs with health insurance or other benefits.
- Because of DACA, 92.8 percent of LGBT immigrants currently in school reported that they are able to pursue educational opportunities they previously could not. The survey found 36.2 percent of LGBT respondents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and 49.2 percent are currently enrolled in school, with 77.6 percent of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Read the column: “What Ending DACA Means for LGBTQ Dreamers,” by Sharita Gruberg.