DACA is really helping young immigrants. But are they too afraid, unsure to renew?

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WASHINGTON — Young immigrants have seen solid wage and job gains under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows them to study and work without fear of deportation. Despite the benefits, a significant number of DACA recipients whose protections expire this year have not reapplied, a study released this week has found.

The Obama-era DACA program has clearly brought tangible benefits to its recipients. About 96 percent are in school or working and 78 percent have seen an increase in their average hourly wage, while more than six in 10 were able to buy their first car after enrolling in DACA.

Yet, about 64,000 or four in 10 DACA recipients whose two-year enrollment expires this year have not reapplied, according to the study, released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Policy analysts who commissioned the study think that the uncertainty and confusion over the fate of the program may be playing a role. President Donald Trump began a phaseout of DACA last year, but that has been slowed by the courts. A ruling could come as early as this week on a lawsuit brought by several states seeking to have DACA declared illegal.

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