WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us released new estimates showing that individuals eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) could contribute at least $390 billion in wages and $117 billion in combined taxes over the next decade if Congress provides a pathway to citizenship for them this year.
Each year since DACA was first implemented, the share of DACA recipients entering the workforce has increased and so has their educational attainment. As they’ve grown in their careers and gained more experience, DACA recipients’ combined economic and tax contributions have also continued to increase year after year. Already, over the last decade, DACA recipients have made enormous economic contributions to the U.S economy, totaling $108 billion in wages plus an additional $33 billion in combined federal, payroll, state, and local taxes.
By 2032, the DACA-eligible population will be, on average, 38 years old and most will be nearing the peak of their careers, and be in positions to contribute significantly more to the economy. With the future of the DACA policy under serious threat by the courts, and without the passage of Congressional legislation for DACA recipients and other Dreamers, total future economic contributions could be much lower than in the previous decade. If Congress does not pass protections, most individuals would have no lawful opportunity to work in careers they’ve spent years preparing for. Many would be forced to seek opportunities elsewhere, perhaps in other countries, taking their U.S.-attained education, diverse skills, and immense potential with them. This would be devastating to communities across the nation and the U.S economy that’s still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congressional passage of a pathway to citizenship would unlock hundreds of billions in economic contributions over the next decade. Without this crucial legislation, the DACA program will almost certainly end, resulting in disaster for the U.S. economy and for families. A legislative solution to provide permanent protections for Dreamers is long overdue, and an imperative given likely future court action. Congress must act this term in providing a legislative fix to DACA.
For more information, including state-specific economic estimates, read the full report: A DACA fix could add nearly $400 billion to the U.S. economy over the next 10 years