September 1, 2917 (San Diego) President Donald Trump has signaled that he is going to end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) This program was started under the Barack Obama administration under executive action, partly to push forwards a comprehensive immigration reform.
The While the White House is still saying that the program is under review, there are signals that there is internal division at the policy level. However, the opposition to the end of this program is coming from business leaders. Among them are Tim Cook of Apple and Jeff Bezos of Amazon who see these young men and women as good for the future of the country. They posted a letter on August 31 that reads in part:
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows nearly 800,000 Dreamers the basic opportunity to work and study without the threat of deportation, is in jeopardy. All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes. More than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.
Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation. Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.
Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.
These young men and women are seen as essential to preserving a vibrant, competitive economy. They have the drive that immigrants have to continue to build and continue to grow.
Ending this program is one of the promises made during the electoral cycle and President Donald Trump is under pressure to deliver something. This is red meat to a diminishing political base that does not understand the contribution these young men and women make to the American economy.
DACA was also modeled after the Dream Act first introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch, and Dick Durban, Republican and Democrat respectively in 2001. The act followed the same model ultimately used by the Obama administration for the administrative action. It has failed to pass in congress, and it provided a way for children to ultimately gain United States citizenship.
Moreover, these young men and women registered with the government and the government knows exactly where they are. They could be deported very easily because of that. The temporary permits allow them to work, get drivers licenses and study. According to the Guardian, the decision at this point would allow the permits to expire, without any renewal.
If the program ends, 800,000 young people will have to go back into the shadows. Some will leave, and their drive will leave with them. This will help the economies of their home countries, including Mexico. Some of these young men and women leaving will constitute a brain from the United States that will benefit Mexico.
The reality is that the country needs comprehensive immigration reform, for multiple reasons. We know the president made a promise on the campaign trail to deport 11 million people, which is almost imposible. Moreover, the country has invested into these children though their public education and in many cases, university education. They grew up in the United States. They are American but in name only. They have the drive to succeed and participate in the American economy. It will be our loss to drive them back into the shadows, or deport them. It will be somebody else’s gain.