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Nearly 6,000 DACA recipients will lose benefits every week

A potential timeline of DACA expirations if the Supreme Court allows the Trump Administration to end the policy

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the Trump Administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The graphs below illustrate the negative consequences if the DACA policy is fully rescinded and renewals halted in April, the soonest the Court could issue a decision.

We’ve assumed a scenario where the Administration halts renewals immediately following the Court’s decision, but allows those DACA recipients who have already renewed their benefits to retain them until they expire, as was the policy when DACA was originally ended in September 2017. If the Court takes longer, more DACA recipients will have time to apply to renew, which may allow them to keep protections for longer after a decision; however, closures and delays caused by the COVID-19 crisis have made renewing harder than ever, and more DACA recipients may continue to fall out of status even while renewals remain technically open.

About 25,000 additional DACA recipients will lose work authorization and protection from deportation each month.”

On average, about 25,000 additional DACA recipients will lose work authorization and protection from deportation each month for two years following an end to renewals; that’s an average of about 5,700 each week, or 1,000 each business day. By the time a new presidential term starts in January 2021, more than 210,000 young people will no longer be protected by DACA, with the total climbing to nearly 579,000 a large majority of DACA recipients, by the end of 2021.

Ending DACA will cost an average of 22,420 American jobs each month for two years

About 89% of DACA recipients are currently employed using DACA-based work authorization, and revoking their ability to work would impose severe costs on the U.S. economy. Without DACA, employers will have to terminate their positions, forcing individuals out of the workforce and leaving critical jobs open.

Ending DACA will cost an average of 22,420 American jobs each month for two years, the equivalent of 1,000 people pushed out of the workforce each business day. In fact, the number of individuals who cannot work will most likely be much higher, as renewal applications are generally taking as long as seven months to process, in addition to a host of complications created by the COVID-19 crisis; many DACA recipients may find their DACA and the ancillary work permit have lapsed in the meantime.

The American Action Forum estimates that removing DACA recipients from the country could cost as much as $21 billion and would reduce GDP by 0.4%, not to mention the incalculable costs to DACA recipients, who have lived the majority of their young lives here, the communities that rely on their work, and the families they support financially, including 250,000 U.S. citizen children who have a parent with DACA.


  • These projections are based on reports from the Department of Homeland Security identifying how many DACA benefits are scheduled to expire each month from April 2020 - March 2022, minus the number of pending renewal applications. Note that DHS estimates round to the nearest ten, so totals may not add up perfectly. We assume a scenario where the Court issues a decision and the Administration halts renewals from April 2020 onward. Job losses are projected assuming 89% of DACA recipients are employed (as estimated by the Center for American Progress), and calculated over a five-day business week. Also note that DHS explains that it failed to include applications in its previously published data, so these new data are more inclusive of the total population of DACA recipients and thus may differ from previous data from DHS and analysis of such data.

Latest Renewal Data (As of March 31, 2020)

  • Department of Homeland Security, “Approximate Active DACA Recipients: As of March 31, 2020,” submitted to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in “Regents of University of California et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al,” Case 3:17-cv-05211-WHA, Document 294-2, filed 04/01/20.
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