Defend DACA. Representation Image.
Defend DACA. Representation Image. Creative Commons

Let's talk about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If you're thinking, "That sounds like a mouthful," you're not wrong. But stick with me here, because this program, launched in 2012, has been a game-changer for nearly 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children according to the latest report by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

These children, known as DACA recipients, have been living, working, and studying in the U.S. without the constant fear of deportation. And let me tell you, they've been doing more than just taking up space. They've been making significant economic and academic contributions that are worth talking about.

Economic Contributions

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. DACA recipients have been flexing their economic muscles in some impressive ways. For starters, they've been boosting employment rates and incomes. In fact, a whopping 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed. That's a lot of people contributing to the economy through their labor and spending.

These folks aren't just employees; they're also entrepreneurs creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. If the DACA program were to be terminated, it wouldn't just impact these individuals. Their employers would also feel the pinch, with turnover costs estimated to be at least $3.4 billion, according to the Center for American Progress.

Academic Contributions

But let's not forget about the academic arena. DACA has opened the doors to higher education for many young immigrants. And these DACA recipients aren't just attending college; they're excelling. Many are pursuing and achieving higher education degrees, with a quarter of DACA-eligible workers also enrolled in higher education.

And let's not forget about the ladies. Even though fewer women than men are eligible for DACA, they're more likely to hold a bachelor's degree and a higher-skilled job. (Center for American Progress)

Benefits to Communities and the United States

The contributions of DACA recipients don't stop at the economy and academia. They're also strengthening local economies through consumer spending and fostering diversity and inclusivity in their communities.

Plus, their presence helps talent retention, contributing to the economic growth of the United States.

Policy Considerations

Despite the clear benefits of the DACA program, its future is covered by legal challenges and uncertainty. The need for permanent solutions and comprehensive immigration reform is more important than ever. The stakes are high, as the termination of the DACA program would impact not only the DACA recipients but also the wider economy and society.

DACA recipients have been making significant economic and academic contributions to the United States. Their presence strengthens our communities and stimulates economic growth. It's crucial to recognize their valuable impact and support immigration reforms for a lasting solution.

So, the next time you hear about DACA, remember that it's more than just a mouthful of acronyms. It's a program that's making a real difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and contributing to the success of our country.

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