Working Paper No. 49

A New Estimate of the Cost of Reversing DACA

By Logan Albright, Ike Brannon, and M. Kevin McGee
February 15, 2018

We obtained data on the age and educational outcomes of nearly 3,000 college students who are DACA recipients — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and used it to forecast their income in the ensuing decade. We then used this data, along with the income we forecast for DACA recipients not in college, to estimate the total economic and fiscal impact over the next decade of allowing this cohort to remain in the country and legally pursue employment. We estimate that reversing DACA would cost the U.S. economy $351 billion from 2019 to 2028 in lost income and that the U.S. Treasury would lose $92.9 billion in tax revenue.

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Logan Albright is Director of Research at Free the People. Ike Brannon is a Visiting fellow at the Cato Institute. M. Kevin McGee is a Professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.