Ending this program would be not just a seriously misguided decision, but an immoral one.
In politics, there are not often clear rights and clear wrongs in any given situation. As members of Congress, we know that policy variations and nuances make much of our job an inexact science.
But that is not the case when it comes to our nation’s policies toward DREAMers, the young men and women who were brought to the United States as children. Our position toward them should be clear: These children are Americans in their hearts and minds; they should be Americans on paper as well.
Despite overwhelming evidence that DREAMers help grow our economy, they are once again under threat.
They are called DREAMers after the DREAM Act that would permanently protect their rights, but also because they are doing their best to live the American Dream. Having been raised here and having spent significant years contributing to their communities both economically and socially, these DREAMers should be able to remain in the country they’ve always known, free of the fear of deportation, separation from family, or being blocked from opportunities like college or employment.
But despite overwhelming evidence that DREAMers help grow our economy, they are once again under threat. The Trump administration is signaling its plan to undo the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within the coming days.
This would be not just a seriously misguided decision, but an immoral one.
It would do nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigration and would move us further from the fundamental reforms our immigration system needs. We’d be no safer if DREAMers were forced to leave the country and, by all accounts, worse off as a nation in many ways.
As just one example, ending the DREAMer program would seriously impact our economy. A recent study found that ending DACA would lead to a $460.3 billion loss in the national gross domestic product over the next decade.
Consider that in New York, these young men and women contribute more than $2.5 billion to the state’s economy. In New Mexico, the state would see a nearly $400 million-dollar annual loss to its GDP if DREAMers were suddenly absent from its economy. The impact in California would be even greater. Workers who benefited from the DACA program contribute a staggering $11 billion annually to the economy there.
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