For Immediate Release: November 18, 2022
Contact: Michael Earls at [email protected]
New Survey of DACA College Graduates Underscores Essential Need for Dreamers’ Legislative Protections This Year
TheDream.US and Golden Door Scholars Release Joint Survey of More than 1,400 Alumni. Read Here
Washington, DC – TheDream.US and Golden Door Scholars, two organizations providing college scholarships to undocumented students, today released a new survey report of over 1,400 alumni graduates, representing 140 colleges and universities in 28 states and Washington, DC. The vast majority (86%) of the college alumni surveyed reported active DACA status and 94% of respondents are employed or self-employed.
The report’s survey data and series of alumni stories speak to the impact of a college degree and work authorization on the social mobility of undocumented individuals and their contributions to their communities and the American workforce. With DACA endangered due to a series of court rulings, the survey findings underscore the importance of Congress delivering a bipartisan legislative solution for Dreamers this year. Ending DACA combined with legislative inaction would be disastrous for the respondents in this survey, their families, the larger Dreamer population, and the larger American economy.
Among the key findings in the new alumni survey report:
- Reliance on DACA: 86% of respondents have active DACA status.
- Presence in the U.S. workforce: 94% are employed or self-employed. As one indication of the talent of this Dreamer workforce when provided opportunities: 94% of the survey respondents from the Graduating Class of 2021 have landed a career opportunity, compared to 84% of all U.S. college graduates in the Class of 2021.
- Employment concentrated in high-demand fields: The top industries of employment are Health and Medicine (22% of employed respondents), Business (19%), and Education (18%).
- Deeply rooted in the United States: Respondents’ median age is 25 years old, while their median age of arrival to the U.S. is just 4 years old – meaning that the typical survey respondent has grown up in the U.S. and lived here for two decades.
- Playing a pivotal role in their families: 68% are the first in their family to attend college; 61% have one or more family members depending on their income; 50% are outearning their parents combined.
The alumni surveyed are just a small fraction of the nearly 600,000 DACA recipients living across the United States, raising 300,000 U.S.-citizen children, and paying $9.4 billion in taxes each year.
According to Donald Graham, co-founder of TheDream.US: “The stories and successes of TheDream.US and Golden Door Scholars show what happens when we unleash the potential of Dreamers. Each of the Scholars is helping to move our country forward and are contributing to the social and economic prosperity of the United States. Ten years after the establishment of DACA, no one could have imagined the impact the program would have on our country. Now it’s time to build on that success and deliver a permanent and bipartisan solution for Dreamers before the end of the year. We cannot wait for the day when the DACA program is terminated and companies, schools, and hospitals lose their trained workforce because of Congress’s inability to deliver on a popular and needed solution.”
Kacey Grantham, CEO of Golden Door Scholars shares: “DACA recipients have lived in this country for decades, contributing to our critical workforce and rich social fabric. They’ve done so while in limbo, uncertain about their futures. Golden Door Scholars and TheDream.US have supported over 9,000 Scholars since 2012. We recognize the immense value they bring to our universities, workplaces and communities. Now is the time for Congress to recognize these contributions by creating a pathway to citizenship and comprehensive immigration reform once and for all.”
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 8,750 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 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. For more information on TheDream.US, visit www.thedream.us
About Golden Door Scholars
Golden Door Scholars exists to break financial barriers and help undocumented students access college with the goal of positioning students to obtain high-earning, sustainable careers upon graduation. In addition to awarding scholarships, Golden Door Scholars is a community of over 300 alumni and 250 active students who are supported through engaged mentoring and dynamic coaching. For more information on Golden Door, visit https://www.goldendoorscholars.org/