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

Thursday, December 14, 2017
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Michael Lipkin
Photo by Megan Burks / KPBS
Above: San Diego immigrant and education leaders, as well as elected officials, join for a press conference to speak out against the Trump administration's decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, Sept. 5, 2017.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, one reason he gave was that program recipients were taking jobs away from "hundreds of thousands" of U.S. citizens. But a new study finds that competition for jobs between DACA recipients and their corresponding millennial U.S. population is not widespread.

The nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute found that children brought to the U.S. illegally only make up 1 percent of the U.S. millennial population and tend to work in different professions. Those millennials are less likely to work in education, health and social services and so don't compete heavily with the general millennial population for jobs in those fields, according to the study.

The Migration Policy Institute also found that the so-called "chain migration" lately criticized by President Trump is not a significant factor for children brought to the U.S. illegally. While immigrants in past decades have sponsored an average of 3.5 relatives each, DACA recipients are only expected to sponsor an average of one relative. The study found that is mostly because DACA recipients are unlikely to have children born abroad and more likely to meet a spouse in the U.S.

Randy Capps, director of U.S. research for the Migration Policy Institute, joins KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday with more on the latest his research.