On August 15, 2014, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be two years old. That’s two years since the first applications could be submitted. The policy has enabled over half a million undocumented youth to step forward and advance their lives. The evidence is in – DACA has improved the lives of thousands of people.
DACA recipients have benefited significantly from gaining access to opportunities previously denied to them because of their immigration status. More have attended college, gained employment, opened bank accounts, and felt unafraid to participate in everyday American life. This is positive progress for immigrants and a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
Evidence of DACA Success
Multiple studies are showing DACA’s success. Here’s a look at two meaningful studies:
In Their Own Words, A National Survey of Undocumented Millennials was commissioned by Unbound Philanthropy and the Own the Dream Research Institute at United We Dream. The survey was conducted by Dr. Tom K. Wong, at UC San Diego. Here are some key findings on DACA success:
- 70% say they began their first job or moved to a new job upon receiving DACA.
- 64% say they’re less afraid because of their status and 84% now have a driver’s license.
- Most respondents (95%) plan to renew DACA (marriage is the main reason for not renewing).
- 40 percent of DACAmented Dreamers know someone eligible for the program who has not yet applied.
Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA is a research projected from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP). Here are their key findings on DACA success:
- Nearly 60% of DACA beneficiaries obtained a new job since receiving DACA, and 45% increased their earnings.
- Almost half have opened a bank account.
- 33% have been able to obtain their first credit card.
- And 57% have gotten a driver’s license.
Continue the DACA Success: Renew Early
Every organization focused on deferred action is urging DACA recipients to renew early. Filing with USCIS can be a lengthy process. If your current period of DACA expires before you receive a renewal, you will:
- Accrue unlawful presence for any time between the periods of deferred action (unless you were under 18 years old when submitting request)
- Not be authorized to work in the United States regardless of your age at the time of filing
The good news is that DACA is easier the second time. CitizenPath offers a helpful DACA Renewal Calculator to determine the best dates to prepare and file your I-821D application. We can even help you prepare your DACA application in about 25 minutes. Learn more.
DACA Resource Center
Additional information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is available in the DACA Resource Center. You’ll find articles on Getting a Social Security Number, Getting a Driver’s License, Building Credit after DACA, College Education for DREAMers, Employment Rights with DACA, Traveling with DACA and more.