SAN JOSE, CA – When provided a brief description of the DACA program, 85 percent of voters in the Bay Area said they would support a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Two-thirds “strongly support” a path to citizenship and only 12 percent of voters oppose the proposal.
These findings came from a recent Silicon Valley poll commissioned by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area News Group in May. What stood out was that this support of Dreamers crossed all major demographics including Republicans although the most supportive tended to be ideologically liberal, Democrats under age 40, Democratic women, white Democrats, voters under age 30 and Latinos.
Support for a Path to Citizenship for Dreamers
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is a temporary immigration policy which allows individuals who came to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 with their parents to remain in the United States. To qualify, these individuals must be currently enrolled in school; have obtained a GED; or be an honorably discharged veteran. Additionally, they cannot have a criminal record or be considered a threat to national security and public safety. Some people have suggested allowing DACA recipients, sometimes referred to as Dreamers, to stay in the United States and apply for citizenship. Do you support or oppose the proposal to allow Dreamers to remain in the U.S. and apply for citizenship?”
Of the 1,843 voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, seventy-seven percent of them said that DACA recipients have a positive impact on the Bay Area economy and a majority said their impact is “very positive” (51%). Sixty-eight percent said they contribute positively to the quality of life in the area and 42 percent said they contribute “very positively.”
“To me that underscores that respondents don’t just tolerate Dreamers but celebrate Dreamers, said Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “When nearly seven out ten say they are good for my quality of life that tells me they are welcome in our communities. There’s a welcome mat at the front door of the Bay Area for Dreamers.”
Perceived Impact of Dreamers in the Bay Area
(% Total Positive)
|Bay Area Economy||77%||88%||76%||39%||82%||71%|
|Quality of Life||68%||81%||62%||35%||70%||65%|
Vice President of Tech and Innovation Peter Leroe -Munoz says the results aren’t so surprising when you look at the data. “DACA recipients provide $460 Billion to our gross domestic product over the next ten years, so there is a very real economic value they bring,” points out Leroe-Munoz. “In addition to that, approximately 90 percent of those DACA eligible individuals are employed bringing another tangible benefit to our labor market.” To learn more about the findings and other interesting data points on Bay Area attitudes about immigration contact Kimberly Ellis, SVP of Comms and Marketing at (408) 501-7851 or Kellis@ svlg.org. Interviews are available.
The poll of 1,834 registered voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Bay Area News Group. The poll, conducted from May 5-14, has a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.