His research showed that immigrants with DACA protection had large economic gains compared to those with dreamers. In all the indicators, the quantifiable gains in socio-economic factors for the beneficiaries of the DACA were between two and three times higher than those of the Dreamers over the same period.
According to Jones’ analysis, DACA recipients have seen a substantial increase in college enrollment, an increase in four-year graduation, more opportunities to access professional jobs, and an increase of personal growth compared to Dreamers. Notably :
- The number of DACA recipients with a Bachelor of Arts degree tripled from 2012 to 2016, accounting for half of all DACA recipients with a college education.
- Obtaining professional employment for DACA beneficiaries increased by 34% and represented in 2016.
- The income of DACA recipients more than doubled over the four years of the research, from $ 7,627 to $ 18,229. In 2016, the average annual income of DACA recipients with a BA was $ 30,179, while dreamers with the same degree saw their average annual income drop by $ 4,500.
“In other words, a bachelor’s degree was valuable for DACA recipients but actually detrimental to dreamers,” Jones said. “This result is valuable as it gives us a glimpse into the future of these arrivals if DACA is terminated permanently.”
Currently, the protection of the DACA is threatened due to a lack of comprehensive immigration reform. According to Jones, those who lose DACA protection risk losing additional social mobility and their positive contribution to the US economy as a result.
Jones examined two datasets from the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual census that focuses specifically on education, employment, Internet access, and transportation, characteristics not measured by the Decennial Census of 2020. The survey measured the evolution of socio-economic characteristics of DACA beneficiaries compared to Dreamers.
This DACA analysis illustrates the divergence in career advancement between DACA recipients and Dreamers. The latter group faces limited professional mobility and stagnant income, while DACA recipients show significant career progression with more professional jobs and increased income.