DACA Recipients Bolster Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid to Immigrants Saves Taxpayer Money

by Kevin Johnson


Since its creation in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has provided relief to more than 835,000 noncitizens in the United States. A new column from the Center for American Progress details the ways in which DACA recipients contribute to Social Security and Medicare funds that support tens of millions of people across the United States.

New data from the analysis include: 

  • DACA recipients contribute nearly $2.1 billion to Social Security and Medicare each year, making our economy and communities stronger; and their employers contribute an additional $1.6 billion on their behalf.
  • In 2022, DACA recipients collectively earned nearly $27.9 billion
In a related development, providing Medicaid to pregnant undocumented immigrants more than makes up for the initial costs, according to new University of Michigan research. Providing public health insurance coverage to undocumented immigrant women during pregnancy leads to better health care access, improved infant outcomes at birth, and downstream gains in education and economic well-being for those children later in life—all while recouping the initial investments of providing Medicaid coverage, the study shows. The study found that investing public resources to ensure pregnant undocumented immigrants receive adequate prenatal and delivery care has lifelong payoffs for the next generation of Americans and the U.S. citizen children born to those mothers.

This post originally appeared on ImmigrationProf Blog Reprinted with permission.


About The Author


Kevin Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.


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