Obama’s Immigration Deferred Action Spurs Huge Boost To Dreamers’ Wages

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According to a report released Thursday, undocumented young people – The Dreamers – have seen their average wages jump an approximate 45 percent since President Barack Obama granted them Deferred Action for temporary authorization to stay in the United States and legally work here.

With work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, dreamers average an hourly wage of $17.29. The average wage before the program was approximately $11.92 according to the report.

The Center for American Progress, National Immigration Law Center and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego, illustrate the program’s economic and educational impact of the deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program has allowed nearly 665,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 to stay and work legally for two years, with the opportunity to renew.

The survey also found that 76 percent of the DACA recipients were employed, and 20 percent were going to school and not working. Forty-five percent were working and in school. The recipients who were working said they had better pay after gaining coverage from the program. Fifty-four percent said they had better working conditions.

The authors wrote that the higher wages mean more tax revenue and economic growth, which suggests that the program benefits the economy.

The report found that 89 percent of DACA recipients had received a driver’s license, and 21 percent bought their first car. More than 90 percent of those still in school said they had “pursued educational opportunities [they] previously could not.”

The survey was conducted in June with 546 respondents. Researchers were “confident” 467 of those are DACA recipients. Respondents live in 34 states the District of Columbia. The median age was 22. Of the respondents, 73 percent were women and 26 percent were men.