President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped increase the pay wages for immigrants.

Based on a nationwide survey of DACA recipients, from beneficiaries utilizing the 2012 guidelines, their average hourly wage increased by 45 percent. A majority of DACA recipients, with 69 percent, have also said they obtained a job with better pay.

The survey, analyzing the responses from more than 465 DACA recipients from 34 states and Washington, D.C., found that most recipients, 67 percent, were employed, while 20 percent attending school. Of the immigrants employed, 57 percent said they moved to a job that "better fits" their education and training. Fifty-four percent stated they moved to a new job with improved working conditions.

As a result of DACA, which allows undocumented immigrant youths to temporarily stay in the U.S. for two-renewable years, 62 percent of respondents said they "have been able to earn more money, which has helped me become financially independent," and 57 percent have been able to help their family's finances.

"[DACA] has increased average wages 45 percent, moving from $11.92 per hour before receiving DACA to $17.29 per hour after receiving it. This means an average of $5.27 more per hour and a median increase of $4. Because the baseline hourly wage is modest, and many of these individuals are new to the labor force, even relatively small wage bumps result in large percentage increases," noted the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), both conducted the survey.

CAP and NILC found that DACA has provided undocumented immigrant youths the opportunity to find better paying jobs, although more research has to be done in regards to short- and long-term effects of DACA's wage effects on the immigrants' work and careers.

An overwhelmingly majority, 92 percent, said DACA allowed them to pursue educational opportunities that they previously could not. Most DACA recipients, with 83 percent, are pursuing their undergraduate degrees, while 17 percent are going beyond with advanced degrees.

"Given DACA's broad economic and societal benefits, allowing deferred action to move forward would reap even larger rewards," CAP and NILC wrote. "Deferred action provides only temporary protections, however, and a more permanent solution in the form of comprehensive immigration reform legislation -- anchored by a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants -- would yield even greater benefits and provide increased prosperity for all Americans."

Most of the DACA survey respondents were Latino (84 percent), followed by 9 percent identified as Asian, and 2 percent for black, white and "other," each.


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