Statistics on DACA beneficiaries

  • The CATO Institute estimates that the fiscal cost of immediately deporting the approximately 750,000 people currently in the DACA program would be over $60 billion to the federal government along with a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade. (Brannon, 2017).
  • Research shows the average DACA recipient came to the USA at 6 years old. (Wong et al., 2017).
  • The US Department of Homeland Security has stringently vetted DACA applicants. Applicants approved for DACA recipients have lived in the U.S. since 2007 or earlier, have at least a high school education or equivalent, no criminal record, and have been evaluating as posing no threat to national security or public safety.
  • DACA has not significantly increased apprehensions of unaccompanied minors on the southwest U.S.-Mexico border (Amuedo-Dorantes and Puttitanun 2016).
  • Receiving DACA increased the likelihood of employment among DACA-eligible immigrant youth (Amuedo-Dorantes and Antman 2016a); surveys of DACA recipients show that of those 25 years old and over, 93 percent are working (Wong et. al. 2017).
  • DACA recipients earn more money. Deferred action programs are estimated to increase the wages of documented Mexican immigrants wages increase by about 8.5 percent (Oakford 2014); surveys suggest that 69% of DACA recipients moved to a job with better pay because of DACA (Wong et al., 2017).
  • DACA recipients are less likely to be poor. Analyses suggest that households headed by DACA-eligible Mexican immigrants are significantly less likely to have family incomes below the poverty line than those with DACA-ineligible Mexican immigrant household heads. (Amuedo-Dorantes and Antman 2016b).
  • DACA recipients are business creators.  After receiving DACA, 8 percent of DACA recipients over age 25 report starting their own business; this is nearly triple the rate for the U.S. public as a whole. (Wong et al., 2017).
  • Estimates for Arizona suggest that eliminating DACA for the approximately 28,000 DACA recipients in the state could result in a loss to Gross Domestic Product of $1.3 billion dollars per year if these recipients were no longer in the workforce (Prchal Svailenka, Jawetz, and Bautista-Chavez 2017).
  • According to an estimate from USCIS there are 787,580 DACA  recipients nationwide, and 27,865 DACA beneficiaries here in Arizona.
  • There are an estimated 2,056 DACA recipients enrolled in Maricopa community college and 240 student students at Arizona Universities.
  • According to studies 16% of DACA recipients have purchased a home nationwide. (Wong et al., 2017).
  • DACA-eligible population also contributes almost $2.0 billion to Social Security taxes and almost $470 million to Medicare taxes, supporting critical social welfare benefits for all Americans. (Christensen Gee, et al, 2017) .



Amuedo-Dorantes, C. and Puttitanun, T. (2016), DACA and the Surge in Unaccompanied Minors at the US-Mexico Border. International Migration. 54: 102–117. 

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Antman, Francisca M. (2016a : Schooling and Labor Market Effects of Temporary Authorization: Evidence from DACA, IZA Discussion Papers, No. 10144.  (

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Antman, Francisca M. (2016b) : Can Authorization Reduce Poverty among Undocumented Immigrants? Evidence from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, IZA Discussion Papers, No. 10145

Brannon, Ike, and Albright Logan. (2017). “The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Repealing DACA.” The CATO Institute.

Christensen Gee, et al. “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions.” Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Mar. 2017,

Oakford, Patrick. (2014). “Administrative Action on Immigration Reform The Fiscal Benefits of Temporary Work Permits.” Center for American Progress.

Prchal Svailenka, N., T. Jawetz, and A. Bautista-Chavez. (2017). A New Threat to DACA Could Cost States Billions of Dollars. Center for American Progress.

Wong, T., G. Martinez Rosas, A. Luna, and colleagues. (2017). “DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow.” Center for American Progress.