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University of California Students to Track the Economic Benefits Provided by DACA Recipients

964707_capitol_place_2.jpgIn June 2012, President Obama announced that his administration would be implementing the groundbreaking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, commonly referred to as DACA. DACA provides employment authorization and the temporary suspension of deportation proceedings to qualifying foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. as children.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimate that more than half a million foreign nationals have received DACA employment authorization. One recipient, Mr. Francisco Lopez-Flores, is working to show the U.S. government and the public that the DACA policy has been widely beneficial to the nation’s economy as a whole.


Mr. Lopez-Flores, a 2014 graduate of the University of California, conceived the DACAMENT ME project, a survey that aims to interview 100,000 DACA recipients, as a means to prove with hard numbers that immigration reform in general and DACA in particular has been beneficial to the U.S. economy. To do so, Mr. Lopez-Flores and his group of co-researchers are developing a computer program that will analyze the survey’s responses and calculate the economic impact of the DACA workers across the states. The program, which was awarded the first place prize at the Latin Coder Summit offered by Stanford University, is still in its initial stages but should be finished this year.

Mr. Lopez-Flores reports that he got the idea for the DACAMENT ME Project after experiencing increases in his own wages after he received DACA employment authorization. He attributes his salary raises to the fact that he did not need to be paid only in cash or off the books any longer. His employment authorization opened new doors to him in terms of applying and qualifying for better jobs.

Other Economic Impact Studies

The DACAMENT ME Project is not the only study focusing on DACA. This past winter, another group of students met with policymakers at the White House in order to discuss their own analysis of the economic impact DACA has made on the United States. This group surveyed more than 200 DACA recipients, and their results showed that the wages for the recipients nearly doubled after they were approved for employment authorization. The research also indicated that this trend of increased wages could lead to a nearly $1.7 trillion contribution to the U.S. economy in the coming years.

The Rant

We are eager to see the results of the students’ survey and hope that our politicians in Washington will take note of the enormous economic benefits that foreign nationals offer the United States. Continue to check back with our blog for the most up to date news on the execution action and all other immigration-related issues.

Additional Blog Posts:

The Government’s War on H-1Bs, ImmigRantings, October 11, 2012
Obama Signs Immigration Executive Order, ImmigRantings, June 15, 2012
Problems with the H-1B visa: From Work Horse to Show Pony, ImmigRantings, February 13, 2012