The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently condemned plans that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within 6 months.
"Dreamers are the embodiment of the American dream. They were brought to this country as children and have made this nation their home, often contributing in powerful, meaningful ways. Nationwide, Americans believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay, but President Trump is signaling his disregard for the voting public and exploiting the vulnerability of the Dreamer population in order to keep campaign promises. This is not, as the president promised, treating Dreamers with 'heart'; it is heartbreaking and shortsighted. The president is bowing to anti-immigrant pressures from his advisors. Congress needs to act and act now."
- Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President
What is DACA?
DACA, an immigration program instituted by President Obama, gives young people who were brought to this country as children work authorization and protection from deportation. The program only applies to those who have lived in the United States for five years or longer and do not have a criminal record. Essentially, these young people, often referred to as "Dreamers," have never knowingly broke any law and have been productive and peaceful members of society since their arrival.
Since the program started in 2012, approximately 800,000 individuals have been given the opportunity to positively contribute to their communities. Over the past 5 years, 97% of DACA recipients have found employment, started their own business or enrolled in school.
What would be the economic impact if DACA is repealed?
According to the Cato Institute, the fiscal cost of immediately deporting those currently in the DACA program would be over $60 billion to the federal government along with a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.
In a study conducted by Fwd.us, they found that for every business day more than 1,400 DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and could be let go by American employers if DACA renewals were put on hold or terminated. This translates to 7,234 jobs lost per week.
What's in store for the Dreamers?
DACA recipients are in a very precarious status as Trump's 6-month deadline looms. Immigration groups strongly urge the Trump administration to endorse a legislative proposal and ensure that legislation is passed before terminating the program.
Several legislative proposals have been introduced including the Dream Act, introduced by Senators Graham and Durbin in the Senate, the House version introduced by Representatives Royal-Allard and Ros-Lehtinen, the American Hope Act, introduced in the House by Representative Gutierrez, and the Recognizing America's Children's Act introduced by Representative Curbelo in the House. Senator Tillis of NC also expressed his intention to introduce legislation that will help Dreamers.
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