Many news stories cover important elements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but the public at large often has difficulty fully grasping the complicated program. The political aspects of the program and its associated rhetoric also often serve as impediments to greater clarity.

The following information seeks to provide some pertinent information on the program

A brief history of DACA

The New York Times reports that President Barack Obama introduced DACA in 2012. A stopgap measure, DACA shielded people from deportation who came into the U.S. as children without any form of legal residency status. The program did not provide a pathway for citizenship; however, a person under DACA remained protected for two years, with a possibility of renewing this protected status.

By enrolling in the program, individuals gained access to benefits such as the ability to get work permits and to buy health insurance from employers. They could also obtain drivers licences, qualify for a variety of tuition benefits and in some cases qualify for state-subsidized health insurance.

The popularity of DACA

A recent survey conducted by the PEW Research Center indicates about 75 percent of U.S. adults support the granting of legal status to children who reach the U.S. illegally. Democrats support the granting of legal status to children at a much higher rate than Republicans.

Also, by ethnicity the strongest support for granting legal status to children came in this order: Hispanics at 88 percent, blacks at 82 percent, Asian Americans at 72 percent and whites at 69 percent. The majority of DACA recipients came from Latin America and the Caribbean region. Click here to read more about recent actions concerning DACA.