As the fate of the nation’s immigrant Dreamers– beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program– remains in the balance, Pew Research offers a demographic profile. The young people eligible as DACA recipients include a small portion of those who’ve adjusted their legal status and received green cards, essentially opting out of governmental indecision around a DACA fix.
According to the Pew report, current DACA enrollment figures as of Sept. 4, 2017, have fallen by 110,000 from the program’s height of 800,000. Of the group no longer enrolled as a DACA beneficiary, Pew numbers count some 40,000 of these young people as filing for adjustment of status to obtain green cards and live as legal permanent residents. Around 70,000 of the group no longer enrolled in the program, beneficiaries either failed to renew their participation in the 2-year program, or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied applicant requests.
In terms of nationalities of DACA recipients, the Pew study authors point out that although program participants come from around the world, the vast majority of the group hail from Latin American countries with Mexico holding the highest representation at 548,000 enrollees. El Salvador nationals, Guatemalans and Hondurans follow– 25,900, 17,700 and 16,100 respectively. In all, recipients from Mexico and Central and South America represent 94 percent of DACA recipients. Asians represent 3 percent of DACA recipients with the Caribbean, European and African immigrants representing less than 1 percent of DACA beneficiaries.
Just as DACA holds strong representation in terms of regional origins, those enrolled in the program likewise gravitate to particular regions in the United States.
“Three-quarters of DACA recipients live in 20 U.S. metro areas,” according to Pew. At the top, with a reported 89,000 DACA enrollees, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area holds the largest number of active DACA enrollees in the nation. The New York-Newark-New Jersey metropolitan includes less than half that number at 47,200 DACA recipients. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin comprise the next metro areas in terms of the number of DACA recipients– 36,700, 35,800 and 34,100 respectively.