Ahead of the November 12, 2019 Supreme Court hearing regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) today releases a new report highlighting the program’s long-term impacts on young immigrants.
Established in 2012, DACA has provided critical support to more than 800,000 young people who have taken advantage of the two-year work renewable permits and temporary relief from deportation to pursue their dreams and realize their full potential. The new report, “The Long-Term Impact of DACA: Forging Futures Despite DACA’s Uncertainty,” outlines new findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP), a longitudinal national study aimed at understanding the impacts of DACA beneficiaries. The study draws on a diverse sample of 408 DACA beneficiaries from six states, representing an array of racial, ethnic, economic and educational backgrounds.
The report details how, over the past seven years, DACA has served as a vehicle for social mobility for its beneficiaries and their families. In doing so, it points to the incremental, yet dramatic, changes in the employment, educational, and well-being trajectories of these respondents. We see them taking advantage of new employment opportunities, finding their way back to educational programs, and building on these opportunities to start careers and advance in their jobs. Consequently, over these seven years, they have improved upon their quality of life: they have settled into new neighborhoods and have found better living arrangements, and they are now in a better position to support their families. They have also dramatically improved their well-being—they are less anxious, more confident and secure, and they feel a greater sense of belonging.
But all of that could change very quickly. The authors conclude the report by highlighting some of the drawbacks of a policy that, by nature, offers only partial solutions. With the future of DACA up in the air, the authors provide a set of recommendations for policy makers and community stakeholders.
The report will be discussed this evening by Professor Roberto G. Gonzales and his co-authors as part of a panel discussion with key stakeholders in the wider Boston community. The event will take place at Harvard Law School, WCC 1023 Wasserstein Hall on November 7, 5.30-7.00pm. All are welcome.
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