Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)

Introduction

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was created in 2012 to tackle the needs of the undocumented and young immigrants who moved to America as minors. Even though the system does not provide its target population a pathway to permanent and legal residence in the country, it offers them temporary work authorization, protection from deportations, and facilitates their application for a social security number (Gonzalez).  The beneficiaries of the program are expected to renew it every two years. Since its inception, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has improved education, employment opportunities, and wages for the recipients.

Analysis of how DACA Has Been Beneficial to the Undocumented People

DACA recipients are diverse as they come from distinct nationalities and regions around the globe.  However, a significant number of them come from Peru (1.1%), Mexico (79.4%), Honduras (2.3%), and Guatemala (2.6%) (Crouse).  The program has had a positive impact on their education, employment, and their living standards as discussed

Impact of DACA on Education

Researchers in 2013 found out that the DACA enhanced its beneficiary’s access to educational opportunities, which have improved their enrollment and education status in the United States. According to Scholars at the Migration Policy Institute, approximately 37% of the program recipients in 2017 had registered with the postsecondary education program (Crouse). The researchers also found out that DACA beneficiaries, just like their US-borne adults, are more likely to enroll in college (18% vs. 20%)( Crouse). Nonetheless, they are subjected to steep tuition fees, a factor that is somehow threatening their enrollment rates.

The situation is worsened further by a lack of federal financial support, forcing most of them to depend on high-interest private loans, private scholarships, and personal savings to fund their college-related and tuition expenses (Crouse).  Nonetheless, some states such as Michigan are implementing tuition-equity policies to minimize the financial pressure incurred by undocumented students in their endeavor to access quality education (Crouse). Despite these challenges, young immigrants, to be precise DACA beneficiaries, are among the most educated generation of the United States, reflecting the importance of the program on the undocumented immigrants.

Impact on Employment

DACA recipients benefit from a temporary work permit, which enables them to engage in the labor market fully. Wong and his colleagues state that 91% of individuals enrolled in the program are employed in the various sectors of the United States economy, and can access high paying jobs that are in line with their training and educational qualifications. Accordingly, some through the work permit opt to start their businesses. For instance, in 2016, the rate of DACA recipients opening their companies was 3.1%, a rate that outpaces American citizens with business creation (Wong et al.). Therefore, the temporary work permits offered by DACA not only enables individuals to get well-paying jobs and concentrate in their field of specializations but also allows them to start businesses that provide employment opportunities to the wider population. The resultant effect is the improved economy of the nation and the living standards of the undocumented migrants and their families.

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