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Editor’s note: Francesc Ortega is a professor of economics at Queens College, CUNY. This analysis is being published here in collaboration with Econofact, a nonpartisan economic publication.
There are approximately 3 million residents of the United States who were brought here as children and whose parents do not have legal residence. These DREAMers account for 1.3 percent of the population. About 1.6 million of these individuals meet the eligibility requirements for DACA, the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, and about 800,00 of them applied for, and were granted, DACA status. Those covered by DACA are temporarily reprieved from deportation and granted work permits.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Research shows that there are economic benefits of DACA, even though this only affords temporary status. Passing the DREAM Act would likely result in even greater benefits to the economy. By providing a path to legal permanent residence, DREAMers’ educational plans would not be distorted, as may be the case with temporary permits. In fact, the DREAM Act is likely to boost college attendance among DREAMers, substantially increasing the contribution of DREAMers to the economy.
Francesc Ortega is a professor of economics at Queens College, CUNY.