The Labor Market Returns to Authorization for Undocumented Immigrants: Evidence from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Francisca M. Antman, University of Colorado at Boulder

Over one year has now passed since President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which provides eligible youth with a two-year reprieve from deportation and work authorization. We use data from the Current Population Survey to gauge the impact that DACA has had on the employment and wages earned by eligible youth. Despite its recent enactment, we find evidence that DACA increased the employment likelihood of eligible youth and led to significant wage gains for some subgroups of individuals eligible for DACA. Overall, the preliminary findings point towards the promise that granting an expedited route to a lawful status might have for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States at a young age.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 60: Undocumented Immigration: Contributions from Theory and Research