DACA Recipients: Contributions to U.S. Economy and the Fight for Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created in 2012, has provided a lifeline to over 835,000 immigrants pursuing their dreams in the United States. The program has allowed recipients to live free from the fear of deportation, enabling them to remain with their families and contribute to society through education, employment, and entrepreneurship. However, the future of DACA remains uncertain due to ongoing litigation and attacks in the courts by Republican attorneys general seeking to end the program.

Despite these challenges, DACA recipients have become deeply rooted in American society, making significant contributions to local and national economies. They have lived in the country for an average of 24 years and have become essential members of their communities. The program has allowed them to work and earn approximately $27.9 billion in annual wages, contributing nearly $2.1 billion to Social Security and Medicare annually, despite not being eligible for these benefits under current law.

Furthermore, DACA recipients have played a crucial role in sustaining critical industries, with statistics showing that more than three-quarters of DACA recipients in the workforce were employed in essential jobs to keep the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them work in the food supply chain, healthcare, and education sectors, highlighting their vital contributions to the nation’s well-being and economy.

The economic gains of DACA recipients not only benefit their families but also have a wider impact on the entire country. Their contributions strengthen the security of working Americans, retirees, and their families, as they collectively contribute to Social Security and Medicare, funding retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Additionally, their efforts help millions of Americans access healthcare and maintain economic security.

It is clear that DACA recipients, given the opportunity to live and work free from the fear of deportation, can thrive and continue to contribute significantly to their communities and the entire country. However, their temporary protections are not enough, and they continue to face the uncertainty of deportation. It is crucial for Congress to take action and provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, ensuring their safety, stability, and the ability to further enhance their contributions to the United States.