Good Jobs | September 6, 2017

How Dreamers boost the American economy

The team at


The Trump administration’s plan to cancel the program that allowed about 800,000 U.S. immigrants who arrived as children to stay and work must have been about politics, because it sure wasn’t about economics. The economic case will become clearer in the six months before the scheduled end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Here’s a start:

  • Job creation. Dreamers’ roughly $30 billion a year in earnings “has a job-creating ripple effect on the economy.” (Cato institute)
  • Wage growth. Immigration just doesn’t hurt native-born workers very much…Some studies even find that immigration raises native-born wages, by prompting locals to go back to school and improve their skills.” (Noah Smith/Bloomberg)
  • Human capital. Nine out of 10 DACA recipients have found work and are working for U.S. companies. (Center for American Progress/FWD.US)
  • Fountain of youth. Dreamers are young, which means they “mitigate the economic problems caused by an aging population.” (Paul Krugman/NYTimes)
  • Economic driver. Ending DACA would cause a loss of $460.3 billion in GDP and cut contributions to Medicare and Social Security by $24.6 billion over a decade and cost employers $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs. (Center for American Progress / FWD.US)
  • Tech-savvy. Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, told NPR, if the government moves to deport Microsoft’s Dreamers, “it’s going to have to go through us to get that person.” Tech executives were near-unanimous in condemning Trump’s plans.