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Study: DACA Improving Young People's Lives

A new study shows that DACA, at just two years old, is already having a substantial impact on immigrants lives. Here are some of the reports most important findings:

New Jobs

Almost 60 percent of DACA beneficiaries surveyed have obtained a new job since receiving DACA, and 45 percent have increased their earnings. These findings provide direct evidence of the economic boost provided by DACA. Because new jobs and increased earnings translate into a greater tax base, DACA is also providing an important boost to the economy.

Internships

Our results also show that just over one-fifth of NURP respondents (21 percent) have obtained an internship since DACA, which likely provides some valuable career training not typically available for young adults with limited employment histories.

Driver’s Licenses

Additionally, 57 percent have obtained a driver’s license. The ability of DACA beneficiaries to legally drive means better safety for all drivers. This important form of access has also likely widened beneficiaries’ educational, employment, and other options.

Miguel was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He came to the U.S. with his two parents and older brother when he was six years old. Growing up in El Monte, California, Miguel worked hard in school. He graduated from his high school in 2011, and started taking classes at a local community college—the first in his family to pursue higher education. DACA was initiated during Miguel’s first year of college. With a work permit he started working at a print shop and was able to enroll as a full-time student. Having a driver’s license also made life much easier for Miguel. In Southern California, one could easily spend two or more hours a day on the bus. After working for a year and establishing credit, Miguel pooled his money together with his father and they opened up a cell phone store in nearby La Puente. Miguel is also hoping to start his own business as a web designer and app developer. He credits DACA for providing opportunities to work and drive, as he strives for a better future for himself and his family.

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Meanwhile, almost half of our DACA beneficiaries (49 percent) have opened their first bank account, and one-third (33 percent) have obtained their first credit card. While undocumented immigrants are not necessarily prohibited from opening bank accounts, many banks require an identification number and a picture ID. The new forms of identification obtained through DACA allow young people to overcome bureaucratic hurdles and to avoid sometimes awkward or uncomfortable situations.

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