President Donald Trump’s order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty has created uncertainty about the fate of the program’s beneficiaries.
Advocates for the DACA recipients, who are commonly known as Dreamers, say they could be forced to return to countries where they have no social ties. But where exactly would Dreamers go in the unlikely event that Congress doesn’t work out a deal to give them some kind of legal status? (RELATED: The Numbers Behind The ‘Dreamers’)
A review of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data on the DACA population shows that the vast majority are from Latin America, especially America’s southern neighbor. Mexico has contributed more Dreamers than any other country by a wide margin. That’s not particularly surprising, given the country’s deep economic and social ties to the U.S., especially along a 2,000 mile shared border.
Still, when compared to other countries, the number of Mexican nationals in the DACA program stands out. Of the nearly 790,000 Dreamers, about 618,000 — 78 percent — are originally from Mexico. In other words, about four out of every five illegal immigrants who received deferred status under DACA are Mexican nationals.
By comparison, the immigrants from the other countries on the list represent tiny fractions of the Dreamer population. Second place El Salvador has sent about 28,000 DACA recipients, or 3.5 percent of the total. Guatemala and Honduras, which along with El Salvador compose the violent “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America, each contribute 20,000 and 18,000 Dreamers, respectively.
South American countries round out the rest of the top nine, with the notable exception of South Korea, which is the only East Asian country that has sent more than 1,000 Dreamers. About 7,200 South Korean nationals are DACA recipients — just shy of 1 percent of the total.
Here are the top nine nationalities in the Dreamer population:
- Mexico – 618,342
- El Salvador – 28,371
- Guatemala – 19,792
- Hounduras – 18,262
- Peru – 9,066
- Brazil – 7,361
- South Korea – 7,250
- Ecuador – 6,696
- Colombia – 6,591
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