Skip to main content
Visit the Midday Edition homepage

Studies Show DACA Recipients Unlikely To Displace U.S. Jobs, Spur Large Family Sponsorships

December 14, 2017 1:11 p.m.

Studies Show DACA Recipients Unlikely To Displace U.S. Jobs, Spur Large Family Sponsorships


Randy Capps, director of U.S. research, Migration Policy Institute

Related Story: Studies Show DACA Recipients Unlikely To Displace U.S. Jobs, Spur Large Family Sponsorships


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the DACA program, of reason he gave was that DACA recipients were taking jobs away from hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Now study finds that competition for jobs between DACA recipients and their corresponding population is not wide spread. The nonpartisan migration policy Institute also finds that the so-called chain migration targeted by President Donald Trump is not a significant factor when it comes to the dreamer population. Joining me is Randy Capps, director of U.S. research, Migration Policy Institute . Welcome to the program.
>> Thank you for having me.
>> Whether you are DACA supporter or a critic, it seems to send a reason that young people allowed to work legally in the U.S. under tokamak would be working in jobs that might otherwise be taken by citizens. Why does your study say that is often not the case?
>> Our study looks at how many DACA recipients there are in compares them to the size of millennial population. The reality is were not talking about the very big population. We are talking about 700,000 or so people who currently have tokamak might be a little over 1 million with some of the dream ask. If you compare that to the total five of the millennial population, the tokamak beneficiaries are less than 1% and even an expanded dreamer population would be less than 2%.
>> I think your study looked at where most of the tokamak recipients and dreamers are located in the U.S..
>> Almost 60% of tokamak recipients are in the big five states California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida but only a third of black millennial's 20% of white millennial's live in the states. The reality is that the tokamak dreamers would be competing more so with other Latino immigrants and not nearly as much with white and black millennial's.
>> You look at where most of the jobs they take.
>> The largest industry is hospitality. They're much more likely to be in hospitality than other millennial's. They are slightly over concentrated in construction jobs. So they are not exactly the same industries as the overall millennial population.
>> Even at one -- 1% or 2% that -- wouldn't they be taken by citizens otherwise?
>> Not necessarily. Depends if there are jobs for which citizens are qualified and maybe some cases more tailored to DACA recipients but in theory, yes, they could be but if you're talking about 1% or 2% of the labor force that is unlikely to have a big impact on overall employment. There's still plenty of other jobs in the same locations the other ones back and fund.
>> I'm going to move to another study about dreamers. After it was discovered that the New York City subway bomber came to this country under a family visa, President Donald Trump said that such family chain migration is incompatible with national security. Your group did a study. They study what kind of impact the dreamers would have on chain migration. Tell us about that.
>> What we've heard about it's been based on research done quite a while ago for every person who legalized under a dream act, they would bring in two or three or as many as four family members based on the current immigration laws. We found that those numbers are exaggerated because immigration policy have changed since those studies and because of the unique demographics of the DACA dreamer families. For one being the dreamers came here as children. So unlike other immigrants, they couldn't have gotten married before they came to the country or had children before they came to the country. They were simply young so we don't have spouses and kids outside of the country that they could immigrate.
>> This week it was announced that Democrats won't tie a DACA deal to legislation. A lot of people were hoping for a dream or deal by the end of this year. What kind of impact to you hope your studies will have on this discussion?
>> For the chain migration what were hoping to show is the number of people that we integrate based on a family tie of dreamers is pretty small. Most of them are siblings not spouses or parents. They have to wait many years at least 10 to 15 years possibly 20 years or more before most of the siblings could come. I will also say as far as economic competition, there's a strong economy right now. There are a lot of job openings. Dreamers are good population.
>> I've been speaking with Randy Capps, director of U.S. research, Migration Policy Institute . Thank you.
>> You're welcome.