DACA decision benefits rural communities

Small Towns

Johnathan Hladik, policy director, johnathanh@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1014; Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager, rheal@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1025; or Teresa Hoffman, policy communications associate, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012

LYONS, NEBRASKA – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Department of Homeland Security’s move to eliminate the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, stating the move violated the Administrative Procedure Act. This decision benefits rural communities, according to Center for Rural Affairs Policy Director Johnathan Hladik.

“DACA has provided hard-working young people and their families with a measure of stability,” Hladik said. “This policy protects individuals who came to this country as children from deportation and allows them to apply for employment authorization.”

After DACA was initiated in 2012, recipients’ hourly wages increased by 42 percent. Six percent started their own business (compared to a national average of 3.1 percent), 21 percent purchased their first car, 12 percent purchased their first home, and 90 percent received their driver’s license or a state identification card. Nearly 750,000 DACA recipients are in the U.S., with almost 70 percent coming to this country at the age of 10 or younger.

“They are a critical part of our country’s social and economic fabric, and they are here to stay,” Hladik said. “DACA recipients deserve the opportunity to learn, earn, and live. They contribute to the communities that helped raise them.”

Schuyler, Nebraska, population 6,196, had long struggled to attract new residents. Today, the town is more than 70 percent Latino.

“For this small town and others like it in the U.S., immigrants are keeping shops open and breathing fresh life into main streets,” Hladik said. “The Supreme Court made the right decision to preserve DACA, promoting the safety and well-being, and welcoming young people who want to put their talents to use and give back to the only country they have ever known as home.”