In 2012, the then-President of the United States enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, granting many then-illegal immigrants the right to live, work and attend school in the U.S. legally.

Since then, countless people brought into the country as children have grown into adulthood and leveraged DACA to further not only their lives but their family members’ lives. A recent study also shows how DACA helped them contribute positively to society.

Education thanks to DACA

The Center for American Progress indicates that a multi-agency study of current DACA recipients conducted in August and September of 2020 found that 30.4% of respondents were in school. Of those, more than 91% said they would not have been able to pursue their educational goals without DACA.

Home ownership and DACA

The study revealed the dramatic boost DACA status gave to so many people, allowing them to get better jobs with higher pay and more robust benefits. The impact of this can be seen in downstream actions such as 65.1% of respondents saying they were able to purchase their first vehicle. Another 20.4% said they achieved the dream of owning their own home after achieving legal status under DACA.

Financial gains under DACA

Over 63% of respondents said they landed jobs with higher pay after achieving DACA status. More than half also said their new jobs provided better benefits and better working conditions than jobs they held previously. Over 50% agreed their post-DACA jobs aligned better with their qualifications and their long-term goals. Study participants also indicated they were better able to help their families, including aging relatives, after receiving DACA status.