What we know about who is enrolled in DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has had a profound effect on the lives of its participants, increa...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 2:55 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 2:55 PM

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has had a profound effect on the lives of its participants, increasing the chances they find work and buy homes and cars. Most live in California, though participants are scattered throughout the US. The vast majority emigrated from Mexico.

All told, DACA has protected more than 800,000 young adults from deportation and allowed them to work legally inside the US. To apply, participants are required to be at least 15 years old and to have been brought into the country before age 16.

The program, established in 2012 by executive action by President Barack Obama, is now in jeopardy after President Donald Trump canceled it last year and put a stop clock on the protections enjoyed by people raised in this country.

In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA would come to an end unless Congress passed legislation enacting it. His announcement stopped the program from accepting new applications and did not allow anyone whose permit expires after March 6 to re-enroll (the program requires re-enrollment every two years to keep a permit).

Nearly 1,000 will lose their DACA enrollment every day in March once re-enrollment in the program is no longer possible. Congress has yet to find a permanent solution, although lawmakers from both parties have said they support a law to protect DACA recipients -- otherwise known as Dreamers, named for one proposal, the DREAM Act, which would allow many children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the US and give them a pathway to citizenship.

This is what we know about participants in the DACA program.

1. Typical participants are in their mid- and early 20s and arrived in the US before age 10.

The average DACA participant is in their early 20s, according to data about DACA from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. As of September 2017, 36.7% of DACA recipients were between 21 and 25 and 28.5% were between 16 and 20. One requirement of enrollment in DACA is that the requester have been under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, which has kept the average participant age low.

A study -- by University of California San Diego professor Tom Wong, immigration advocacy groups United We Dream and the National Immigration Law Center and the left-leaning Center for American Progress -- on when DACA recipients arrived in the US found that the average arrival age was 6-.

2. Participants live throughout the US, but California is home to the most.

More than a quarter of DACA participants since the program started are California residents, according to 2017 data from US Citizenship and Immigration Services. More than 220,000 California participants have been accepted into the program.

Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia and Washington follow California in terms of the number of DACA recipients claiming the states as their residences.

3. About 80% are from Mexico, but recipients are from all over the world.

Nearly 80% of DACA recipients were born in Mexico, as of September 2017, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. But it's far from the only country enrollees hail from.

More than 140 countries can claim to have been the places where at least 10 active DACA enrollees were born. The other nine of the 10 with the highest number of enrollees are mostly concentrated in Central and South America. Following Mexico, they are El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina.

But also in the top 10 is South Korea, at sixth. Over 7,000 recipients were born there, or 1.1%. In 11th place is the Philippines, which is followed by India. The UK, Poland and Canada also are the birthplaces of high numbers of DACA recipients.

4. DACA has allowed many more to work. Many want to be entrepreneurs.

DACA enrollees are active participants in the labor force. The study by Wong found that more than 5% started businesses after DACA approval and 91% are working or in school.

But that wasn't always the case. Wong found that 56% of participants were not employed before the program and 55% were able to get jobs once their DACA applications were approved. Sixty-nine percent got jobs with better pay after approval.

As one young DACA recipient, 23-year-old Daniela Velez, told CNN Money: "When I got my driver's license, that was it. ... I could have a normal life." A report by CNN Money found that many DACA recipients are looking to become entrepreneurs and have used the freedom their DACA status granted to kick-start their careers.

5. DACA-eligible immigrants tend to be more highly skilled than other unauthorized immigrants.

A report by the Migration Policy Institute found that DACA-eligible immigrants tend to be more highly skilled than ineligible unauthorized immigrants. Their analysis found that "almost all individuals immediately eligible for DACA are students or workers, with one-quarter of them juggling both college studies and work." When looking at the DACA-eligible population, they found many working in white-collar jobs. Their estimate found that the DACA-eligible workforce is in sales and office administrative jobs at rates comparable with those of the general population.

Part of the reason for the skill difference with other unauthorized immigrants is that DACA has a requirement that recipients must have a high school education or be enrolled in school.

Nonetheless, DACA-eligible recipients are, compared with the greater US population, less likely to have completed college diplomas. This is not that surprising, given that unauthorized immigrants are not always able to work in high paying jobs, so it may be another area where moving from DACA-eligible to DACA-enrolled makes the equalizing difference. Wong's analysis found that 94% of DACA recipients said that after approval into the program, "I pursued educational opportunities that I previously could not."

6. They tend to live in Democratic districts.

As an analysis by CNN's Ryan Struyk found, the more Democratic-leaning a congressional district is, the more DACA recipients it is likely to be home to. Forty-one of the top 50 congressional districts have Democratic representatives.

As the showdown to fund the government plods on in the House and Senate, the lack of representation of DACA recipients by Republican House members will be a factor as the two chambers reconcile a bill.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
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Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
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