Survey: DACA Improving Lives Of Young Immigrants In U.S.
Our top story I midday edition. A challenge to President Obama's actions on immigration will be heard by federal appeals court tomorrow. Within action announced by the president would've added more people to the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. And created a new Graham called deferred action for parents of Americans. Extended programs which shield up to 5 million people here illegally from deportation. The new programs did not go into effect this year as expected because 26 states filed suit against them. Stay was put into effect. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals would hear the case tomorrow. Earlier today I spoke with Peter Nuñez about the arguments the states are raising against the immigration progress. Thank you for joining us. Essential argument these states seem to be making is that the president executive actions are causing an undue burden on them. Because they're costing the state's money. Is that it? I think that is the initial position. In order for the states to meet the legal requirement for showing they have somehow been damaged by the executive order or the president's actions. They have to show some potential damage and clearly, if the states are going to be expected or required to spend more tax dollars to support illegal aliens, that might satisfy that test. How do they claim it's costing them money? To the extent anyone has to provide benefits, whether it's welfare of its as we generally think of welfare, unemployment, medical care, there's a lot of variety, even things like issuing drivers licenses or other permit that cost money for the state to do. Public education. That's off the table already. Because of the Supreme Court case of 40 or 50 years ago. To the extent this president's action would require the states to provide benefits that comes from tax dollars, then state the damaged, I suppose by this executive order. Does this lawsuit also claims the president doesn't have authority to make these changes? I know that's the general objection to the president's action go I don't know if specifically the states are making that claim. Look at Civics 101. Congress passes laws and the executive branch implements or executes them. From that perspective, since Congress has not approved any of this, generally the argument is that the president has no authority to do it, Congress does. That's ultimately what this case is going to boil down to. The president has said he authorized these executive actions because the Republican-controlled Congress would not move on immigration reform. Peter, you are appointed US attorney by Ronald Reagan who supported immigration reform go what has happened to the Republicans on this issue? That's an unfair way of describing it. What I hope all citizens of the country realize was that 1986 act that Reagan signed didn't work. Why are we trying to repeat failure? We have more people here illegally then we had in the 1980s. I think, any rational person would look at what happened in 86, conclude it didn't work and therefore we should try something different. What the president has been pushing for his entire term is to return to a course of action has been proved to fail. Is there an alternative offered? The Republicans have offered a bunch of alternatives. I'm not here as a spokesman for them. I'm here as a citizen. Someone who is interested in immigration form from the perspective of fixing the system, not making it worse. The president's proposal makes it worse and will cause us to have problems in the foreseeable future. Some people are looking at the makeup of the panel hearing this case in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saying it is stacked against the ministration including two federal judges who decided to them force the state against the programs. Is that fair? I don't know anything about the panel hearing the case. I know in the past, litigants tried to find a court they believe will be most ready to accept their argument. If you recall back to prop 87 here in California, the Democrats and the opponents chose a court there pretty sure with side with their arguments as opposed to a court that was more conservative and might not have accepted their arguments. Forum shopping is a well-known well practiced common tactic that lawyers use in every context, not just this kind of context. Immigration has jumped to the head of the pile with comes into the presidential election next year because of recent comments by candidate Donald Trump. Do you think we're -- that will continue through the election of 2016? That immigration will be one of the central issues these candidates talk about? It is going to be an important issue. You can't claim Donald Trump remarks are solely responsible for making immigration an issue. It has been an issue. That's why Donald Trump spoke out about it. It has been an issue since the second Bush administration. Bush also try to pass an amnesty. The people shouted him down. Immigration has been a front burner issue politically for the better part of 10 years. It will continue as long as the president continues to act unilaterally in what many people think is an unconstitutional way. Former US attorney Peter Nuñez thank you. We also reached out to have spent Duncan Hunter to join us, they did not respond. Joining now is Ginger Jacobs with San Diego immigrant rights Consortium . Tom Long is an assistant professor at UC San Diego welcome back. Thank you. Ginger, who would be affected by these executive actions and what would they allow people here illegally to do that they can't do now. There are approximately 1,000,000 people who would be impacted. About 300,000 are individuals brought this country before turning 16 who complete their education in the United States have clean, no records. An extension of the existing program. There are an additional 4.5 million people or parents who could benefit. The benefits they would receive would be a work permit that would allow them to work legally in the united states. With it that they could secure a Social Security number from the Social Security administration and be working lawfully, paying taxes with their proper Social Security number and get to accrue their credits towards retirement. The program also conveys a limited ability for individuals with different action to travel abroad and winter the US legally but only in cases of emergency including personal family emergency or an urgent need to travel for educational or work reasons. Ginger, how many people in San Diego be affected? The number is 100,000. Obama has said from the get-go that the president has the authority to change the enforcement of immigration laws in this way. Do you think that's a strong legal argument? Yes. The deferred action category status already exists under the immigration laws of the United states. A completely new program that was invented. Unlike what I've heard from the other side. It's a program that already then in existence that has been used for decades to allow people for not priorities for deportation to remain lawfully in the United States and it's a humanitarian gesture to allow them to work and support themselves and their families while they're not being reported. If you could send one hand, you can a in this country even though you don't have lawful status will not let you work, it creates an internal crisis for that family of not being able to have anybody provide . Expanded document we talk about, they were supposed to go into effect this year. The people affected by them, how is the delay actually manifesting itself in their lives. What are they eager to be duly and contribute potentially that they are not allowed to. Because they cannot access these programs. Immigration stress such as on virtually all facets of an individual's life and families life. There have been studies released about how the children of undocumented individual suffer from health conditions and mental health conditions because they're worried about their parents status. I see families in crisis all the time who are articulating that their child is getting heart palpitations, stressed out and the grades are dropping in school when mom or dad is going through stress involving their immigration status. Many people are hoping to be able to get jobs once they have work permits. It's not the case that the people who don't have work permits are simply not working. Many people are working. Many of those people work under sub standard conditions, many being paid less than a fair wage, many are facing dangerous health and safety conditions in their place of work. With a work permit, and the ability and confidence to come forward and complain about working conditions or the ability to apply for better job, these people can get a much more safe working conditions and often times with higher salaries. Tom, let me go to you. The deferred action childhood arrival program has been in effect for three years. How many people have received protections under that Texas Just over 660,000 are currently beneficiaries . You have a study released on the impacts have you found it's a stabilized the lives of many young adults illegally? Stabilized is a good word. Improved is also an accurate reflection. The study released today along with national immigration Law Center and the Center for American progress, he revisits some of the questions we asked in a previous survey. We did a survey to years after that. What we are finding is it continues to improve the lives of undocumented youth improvements over time are being seen that we looked at we think about society and is key indicators of immigration. There's a set of key indicators that we care about. 96% of those are currently working or are in school. Among those employed, 62% are becoming more financially independent. That's up from 46% in our previous survey. 57% are reporting their able to earn more money which has helped their families financially. That's up from 51% in the previous survey. We've also found that respondents are reporting that be able to get jobs that better fit their education and training. 57% report that. A full 69% report they have received a job with better pay. We also looked at the wage growth. As mentioned, a lot of these young people were working prior to that you can imagine working under the table you don't have work authorization. Among those polled were working before that are still working, we find an average hourly wage increase of 45%. $11.92 prior, to $17.29 post. If I can mention one thing that speaks directly to the fifth circuit, case and Texas's argument, we also in the previous survey asked a series of questions of respondents of life after that. We had a battery of questions related to one's consumer habits. One question was whether or not you bought a car at you got your drivers license? For this survey, we expanded on that question. Previously we got 20% of respondents received drivers licenses purchased cars. The service we find 21% overall received drivers licenses subsequently purchased the car. For the state of Texas specifically, we found one third of those have bought their first car. The state of Texas is arguing they are being harmed by giving drivers licenses to those with that. In finding a third of those with DACA are buying cars. The average cost of the car purchase, just over $10,000. The Koch addition to the state of Texas we found $674 goes into the coffers of the state of Texas for every car that's purchased by a DACA beneficiary. A lot of people are saying, it doesn't look good for this particular hearing before the fifth circuit Court of Appeals. If the pundits are right, these executive actions are overruled, what happens then? Than the federal government will take it to the Supreme Court. I am optimistic they would receive a very fair hearing before the Supreme Court. In 2012, the Supreme Court came down in Arizona versus United States in a case for Arizona basically said, you are not adequately enforcing the laws so we are impacted by that. We should be able to formulate our own laws about immigration. The Supreme Court came out very clearly and said no. Immigration is within the realm of the federal government to legislate and regulate. It is when the authority of the executive ranch of the federal government to decide how to enforce the immigration laws. It is not within the purview of the states. Although that's not exactly a one for one of comparison, it gives us a very strong signal that the supreme court would tend to favor of Ruby view the -- favorably view the arguments. Like to thank our guests.
A new nationwide survey shows recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are getting better jobs, earning higher wages and going to college.
DACA is a policy that gives temporary protections to certain people who came to the U.S. illegally as children. It also offers two-year work permits. President Barack Obama's began the program in 2012.
Researchers said of the 467 DACA recipients surveyed, almost 70 percent reported getting a job with better pay post-DACA.
Wong told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday that the survey shows DACA stabilized or improved their lives in the U.S.
“What we’re finding is DACA not only improves the lives of undocumented youth but makes improvements (in their lives) over time,” Wong said.
Additional findings include:
• 89 percent said they got a driver's license or state ID card.
• 92 percent said they are pursuing education opportunities.
• 21 percent said they bought a car.
• 96 percent said they bought car insurance.
Wong said the poll is part of a scientific study underway that will follow over several years 100,000 people living in the U.S. illegally as they apply and receive deferred action.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 665,000 people have received DACA since it began three years ago.
The survey comes ahead of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing Friday in New Orleans where a panel of judges will hear arguments on Obama's executive actions on immigration. Obama hopes to expand the DACA program and offer temporary protection to the parents of those in the U.S. legally, but it was halted by a judge earlier this year after 26 states sued the federal government.