For Immediate Release: September 02, 2022
Contact: Michael Earls at [email protected]
Labor Day Offers Reminder of Dreamer Employees’ Contributions and Potential as DACA Faces Renewed Threats
Gaby Pacheco: “Stripping DACA protections would not just be devastating for Dreamers and their families, but for the larger U.S. economy and the hospitals, schools, Fortune 50 companies, and small businesses that rely on contributions from DACA recipients and their work permits to thrive.”
Washington, DC – The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has proven to be one of the most successful immigration programs in United States history. Through such provisions as work permits and deportation protections, DACA not only has transformed the lives of its more than 800,000 recipients but strengthened America as a whole (see reminders via the powerful first person testimonials of DACA recipients shared on the 10 year anniversary of DACA’s announcement and implementation).
Despite its popularity and successes, DACA faces an uncertain future and imminent threats, including a forthcoming ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case brought by the State of Texas challenging DACA. These threats underscore the importance of building on DACA to deliver a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers and the nation.
Ahead of Labor Day, TheDream.US is proud to highlight that there are now more than 3,000 TheDream.US graduates across the nation. Our alumni rely on the opportunities made possible by DACA to work as nurses, teachers, research scientists, business entrepreneurs, social justice workers, and more – all contributing to this country’s strength. And TheDream.US alumni are just a small part of the larger story of DACA employees’ contributions and potential. Of note:
- Our most recent TheDream.US alumni survey of TheDream.US graduates shows that 76% of our graduates were working in “essential” and front line occupations. Of those working, 23% are employed in healthcare fields and 17% in education.
- 88% of TheDream.US alumni survey respondents reported active DACA status at the time of the survey
- Across the nation, there are more than 340,000 “essential” workers with DACA. Other DACA recipients are valued employees of Fortune 500 companies and have started new businesses as entrepreneurs.
- As we head back to school for the new year and many regions report an acute teacher shortage, an estimated 15,000 existing teachers rely on DACA work permits.
The following is a reflection from Gaby Pacheco, TheDream.US Director of Advocacy, Development, and Communications:
“This Labor Day, the stories and successes of the more than 3,000 TheDream.US graduates are just part of the larger reminders of how many DACA recipients are valued employees, already contributing to the broader economy and their local communities.
Stripping DACA protections would not just be devastating for Dreamers and their families, but for the larger U.S. economy and the hospitals, schools, Fortune 50 companies, and small businesses that rely on contributions from DACA recipients and their work permits to thrive.
The latest threats to DACA make the case for finally delivering what should have been done long ago and having Congress pass legislation that secures a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant youth, having provided more than 8,750 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 70 partner colleges in 19 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home.