Will DACA Revival Address Worker Shortage?

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January 1, 2021
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Photo Credits: © Can Stock Photo / diego_cervo

A federal judge in New York City has reinstated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will allow undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to apply for work permits. US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said he was “fully restoring” the program, according to an article in Washington Post on December 4, 2020.1 The Trump administration attempted to end the program in September of 2017, and in July of 2020 a memo was issued shortening work permits to one year.

As of 2014, 27.3% of construction workers were “Hispanic or Latino,” according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics,2 giving the construction industry the highest share of this occupational group. The judge’s ruling will also allow for DACA recipients, colloquially called “Dreamers,” to receive two-year work permits, as opposed to the one-year permits granted under the Trump administration’s rules.

The Center for American Progress estimates that the ruling could affect at least 300,000 immigrants. President-elect Joe Biden has said that he will push for “a path to citizenship” for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants.

1. Sacchetti, Maria. The Washington Post. 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/dacarestoreddreamers/2020/12/04/37254908-367a-11eb-8d38-6aea1adb3839_story.html
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hispanics and Latinos in industries and occupations on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/hispanics-and-latinos-in-industries-and-occupations.htm (visited December 05, 2020).