Here’s How the End of DACA Will Impact the Health and Education Industries

a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House
Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

If you were to name the most important jobs in America right now, what would you say?

Nurse? Doctor? Teacher? Principal? Probably something in health care or education.

Unfortunately, these industries are facing massive gaps between hiring and job openings. Hospitals, clinics and local school districts just can’t find people to do the work they need.

In July, there were more than 1.2 million job openings in the two combined industries and only 778,000 hires, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tack on 478,000 people who quit these stressful jobs, and you’ve got two industries hurting for qualified workers.

So who are these unsung heroes that are actually filling the positions?

Many DACA Jobs Are in Health Care and Education Sectors

More than 168,000 undocumented immigrants are here under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy employed in the education and health services sector, according to research by Tom Wong, associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.

President Barack Obama signed DACA in 2012 as an executive order that allowed minors brought to this country without legal permission to receive work permits on a two-year basis.

President Donald Trump has given Congress six months to act on his plan to repeal DACA. The repeal would leave some of the most important areas of the economy vulnerable to major job losses.

“Ending DACA is going to have a huge impact on the U.S. economy,” said Royce Murray, policy director of the American Immigration Council. “Over the next decade, the United States is predicted to lose $60 billion in tax revenue and $280 billion in economic growth as a result of limiting the ability of 800,000 young people from participating in the formal economy.”

With an aging population, the number of job openings in this piece of the U.S. economy has more than doubled since 2010. So, besides the Dreamers facing potential deportation, your older loved ones will bear the brunt of the end of DACA since there will be fewer people to care for them.

“Students and patients in need of medical treatment don’t care about the immigration status of those who teach and tend to them,” Murray said. “Instead, they value and want to keep the educators and health care workers who make a tangible difference in their lives.”

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.

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