Study Finds DACA Increased Educational Attainment

A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has had a positive impact on the educational and life decisions of undocumented immigrant youth, resulting in a 45 decrease in teen birth rates, a 15 percent increase in high school graduation rates, and a 20 percent increase in college enrollment rates.

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, the study found differential effects by gender; for example, most of the college enrollment gains were concentrated among women.

DACA was established by President Obama in 2012 and gave certain immigrant students who were brought to the United States illegally as children temporary protection from deportation and authorization to work in the country, Inside Higher Ed reported. DACA recipients have faced uncertainty since President Trump in September announced plans to end the program after six months. 

Elira Kuka, one of the authors of the paper and an assistant professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, stated in Inside Higher Ed: "Our main conclusion from this paper is that future labor market opportunities or just opportunities in general really matter."


Related Links

Inside Higher Ed