If the more than 3.6 million undocumented adults with children who are U.S. citizens were legally allowed to work––as they would be under President Obama’s plan the U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear––it would raise the income of those families by 10 percent. It would lift 6 percent of them out of poverty. And it could improve the lives of their 4.3 million children.
Those are some of the findings of a new report by the Migration Policy Institute and the Urban Institute. The report looked at the changes that freedom from deportation and a legal job would make for undocumented parents (or a parent), with at least one child who is a U.S. citizen.
Obama announced the Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), in 2014. The executive action would have prioritized whom the government deports, giving a pass to parents of U.S. citizens, and also allowed them temporary work permits. Within hours of the announcement, Republican vowed to shut it down. Twenty-six states challenged DAPA, and Texas brought a federal suit.
Texas’ argument––in part––says DAPA creates an unjust burden because it would force the state to issue and process driver’s licenses for the formerly undocumented. The Texas federal court ordered DAPA stopped. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the injunction, and last January the U.S. Supreme Court said it would review the decision.