There are estimated to be as many as 1.76 million eligible candidates for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) set to launch August 15th. With enough people to fill the country’s fourth largest city (Houston, TX) Dreamers are not an insignificant part of the country. Data analysis compiled by the Migration Policy Institute collected from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics details just how ingrained Dreamers are in the U.S. by analyzing statistics such as school enrollment and labor data.
Of the 1.76 million eligible candidates, 72% (1.26 million) will meet all the eligibility requirements to apply for DACA on August 15th. The other 28% (500,000) will eventually meet the eligibility requirements once they are old enough to apply and pending they stay in school.
Nearly a third of all eligible Dreamers are under age 15 and students in America’s K-12 schools. Of the 28% (500,000) of Dreamers who are under age 15, 12% (220,000) are between the ages of 12 and 14, 10% (170,000) are between the ages of nine and 11, and 6% (110,000) are between the ages of five and eight.
Dreamers are learners. 800,000 are enrolled in America’s K-12 schools. 390,000 have graduated high school or have obtained a GED. 140,000 are enrolled in two and four year colleges and universities. And 80,000 have an associate’s degree or higher.
Dreamers are participating members of the work force. Nearly 60% of eligible DACA candidates currently have jobs or are actively searching for employment.
Dreamers are neighbors. The highest Dreamer populations are in California (460,000), Texas (210,000), Florida (140,000), and New York (110,000).
Dreamers are active participants of communities across the U.S. They strive to have productive, happy lives, working hard to obtain educations and get decent jobs. The DACA program will allow them a chance to be employed legally, but does not offer them legal status, not even temporarily. While the DACA program is a step in the right direction, solid legislation needs to be passed to give Dreamers a place in a country that they already call home.
See if you’re eligible for the DACA program!