The Education and Work Profiles of the DACA Population

Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Jie Zong
Date of Publication: 
August, 2017
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

The authors of this report applied their unique methodology to Census data to determine the characteristics of what they call the DACA “immediately eligible” population—those who have met all educational requirements for participation in the program. Past studies of this population have been survey-based, but have not been fully representative. The MPI estimate shows that approximately one-third of this population was still enrolled in secondary school, a third had completed high school but had not gone to college, and another third was either enrolled in college, had completed some college, or attained at least a bachelor’s degree. About three-quarters of the DACA-eligible population who had completed high school were in the labor force. Compared to the unauthorized population, DACA workers were more likely to be found in indoor, white-collar occupations, with regular hours and moderate pay. This report adds to a body of evidence showing that DACA has improved the lives of its recipients in terms of educational attainment, work conditions, pay, and prospects for upward mobility. If the program is terminated with no permanent solution and DACA recipients lose their work authorization, most DACA workers would be unable to continue in their white-collar occupations, and future mobility in the workforce would be reversed. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

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Capps, R., Fix, M., & Zong, J. (2017). The Education and Work Profiles of the DACA Population (Policy Brief) (p. 16). Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from