By CAROLINA VALDIVIA
As some of you may know, I have been working as a Research Associate for the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP), which is supervised by professor Roberto Gonzales. As a team, we wrote a report featuring the benefits of DACA, and remaining barriers. To give you a glimpse, here are some key findings:
The Experience of DACA Beneficiaries Varies According to State and Local Context
“Perhaps the most important benefit that DACA confers is the work permit. Having the ability to legally work means that DACA beneficiaries can compete for jobs that match their education and experience. As such, DACA gives undocumented immigrant youth a reason to pursue a post-secondary education. DACA also allows beneficiaries the chance to fill entry-level jobs that are stepping stones towards productive careers.
However, access to post-secondary educational opportunities and jobs is not distributed equally across the United States. While congressional inaction has stalled the overhaul of immigration policy at the federal level, several states have taken steps to respond to questions of immigration. This has resulted in a mixed landscape of state policies and practices pertaining to immigrants, thereby making geographic location and local context increasingly important variables in the treatment of immigrants and the opportunities available to them.”
Lack of access to financial aid and in-state tuition
“Year after year, tuition rates continue to rise, and even in-state tuition remains a huge financial expense for low-income families. Without financial aid, DACA beneficiaries must work long hours, taking away from the time they can spend on schoolwork. Not only do these barriers decrease their ability to attend school continuously or full-time, they also affect their ability to perform well in school, especially compared to their documented peers who do not face this added financial hardship.”
You can access the full report here: “DACA at Year Three: Challenges and Opportunities in Accessing Higher Education and Employment”
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