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DACA Boosts Immigrants' Earning Power
07-17-2015  /  By: Andres P.

The Center for American Progress and the National Immigration Law Center released a survey last Friday that demonstrates the benefits that have been incurred by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The 3-year old immigration program that grants permits and defers deportation actions for hundreds of thousands of young people in the country illegally has been advantageous to many participants pursuing educational aspirations. According to the survey, participants have seen their wages increase by an average of 45 percent, while 92 percent of those in school have pursued opportunities they previously could not. 

The survey also found that 89 percent of participants received their driverís license after applying for DACA, and 21 percent bought a car afterward. In addition, survey data shows that in Texas, one of 26 states currently challenging the expansion of this program, 33 percent of the state respondentís bought a car at an average cost of $10,346, with an average state tax payment of $647 per car.  The results of this finding are clear, according to the center who commissioned the survey: Texas will gain significant amounts of new tax revenue from individuals who are granted deferred action, get driverís license, and purchase cars.

However, the 26 states were recently granted an injunction in February on the argument that they would face added costs in issuing driverís licenses to the applicants. As of now, the Obama administration is focusing on the appeal of the injunction itself, and not pursuing it in the Supreme Court.  

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