DACA Youth Add $140 Million to New York Tax Revenues

DACA recipients celebrating the fourth anniversary of DACA. Image courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security.

A new report by Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and co-released in New York by the Fiscal Policy Institute shows that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program contribute two billion dollars nationwide in combined state and local tax revenue per year. In New York, DACA recipients add $140 million in state and local tax revenues with an effective tax rate of 10.7 percent. DACA allows young immigrants who arrived to the United States as children to register with the government for a temporary work authorization and driver’s license, as well as protection from deportation, which they must renew every 2 years. If DACA were to be repealed, as President Trump said he would, New York would lose nearly $56 million in tax revenues.

“Within the last year, immigration policy has become a far more divisive political issue with public discourse often overlooking the tremendous economic, fiscal and societal contributions of immigrants, and in particular young immigrants,” said Meg Wiehe, deputy director of ITEP.

“New Yorkers can [be] proud of these young immigrants who are graduating from our high schools, going to college, serving in the military, paying taxes,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative. “The idea of terrifying these young people and their families by making them a deportation priority sends all the wrong messages to our kids, to their teachers, to immigrants, and to employers. The federal immigration system is broken, and this program is an interim measure to protect young immigrants who make a real contribution to our society.”

It is clear that the removal of DACA would severely impact the state and federal revenue in numerous ways, including the loss of billions and the rise in the unemployed population.
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Sara Roncero-Menendez is the Online Editor for Long Island Wins. Prior to joining the Long Island Wins team, she graduate from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and worked as a reporter for publications like Mashable, The Huffington Post, and PSFK. She became involved in immigration issues and advocacy while working towards her Masters degree at The University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign. After joining the Graduate Employee Organization Local 6300, she worked on helping international and undocumented students work with the administration to get fair financial aid and fellowship opportunities. Sara also works on issues of representation in mass media, including film and television, and works on media reviews and podcast.