Who are the DREAMERs?


Just-released data from US Citizenship and Immigration Services provides more information about the young people currently enrolled in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Since 2012, the program has provided deportation relief to undocumented youth who came to the US before the age of 16, as long as they met certain criteria. In some cases, DACA status allows young people to qualify for in-state tuition and financial aid — increasing their access to higher education.

But President Trump announced in September that the program will end in six months. Unless Congress acts in their favor, DACA recipients will lose protection on March 6, 2018.

A recent blog post published by the Pew Research Center offered this snapshot of DACA recipients:

  • As of Sept. 4, roughly 690,000 unauthorized immigrants were enrolled in the program. Altogether, around 800,000 young people have received DACA benefits since the program’s inception.
  • The majority of DACA recipients have Latin American roots. Nearly 80 percent of individuals enrolled in the program were born in Mexico. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and South Korea are the next top countries of origin listed on the applications of DACA recipients.
  • Nearly half (45 percent) of DACA recipients live in just two states — California and Texas. Other states with significant DACA populations include Illinois (5 percent), New York (5 percent), Florida (4 percent), and Arizona (4 percent).
  • The average age of DACA recipients is 24. Twothirds of recipients are 25 or younger. Most DACA recipients were unmarried at the time of their most recent application.

Read the full analysis from Pew and learn more about NACAC’s advocacy in support of undocumented students.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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