It seems the current administration in Washington is so dedicated to its immigrant restrictionist agenda that it reflects very little on the damaging consequences of its policy changes.
The end of this process, which still benefits immigrant youth, will have tremendous ramifications for the U.S. economy. The consequences will impact communities large and small, from the West to the East coast, and the North to the South.
The cascading end of DACA will take away the ability to work legally from about 700,000 young individuals across the country when the first Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) expire starting March 6, 2018.
Each month the U.S. will lose 30,000 workers, sending their mixed status families into economic crisis. Picture a wave of house foreclosures, unpaid bills, etc. What does mix status mean? Most immigrant families have members with different immigration statuses: Some may be citizens, some permanent residents and some undocumented (with or without DACA).
The think tank Center for American Progress has estimated that the cumulative U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would be reduced by $433.4 billion over the following 10 years if these young men and women are not provided with a way to be integrated again into the economy.
This created crisis will not recognize politics. Red and blue states’ economies will be affected negatively by the loss of young and healthy DACA workers since they are everywhere in the U.S. With its estimated 187,972 DACA workers, California would suffer a GDP loss of $11.3 billion, while Texas may suffer a loss of $6.1 billion annually.
To bring the issue locally (Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is located in Phoenix), Arizona will lose more than $1.25 billion of its GDP over 10 years due to DACA worker loss. According to USCIS, 27,211 individuals are protected by the DACA program, and 23,674 participate as workers in diverse industries.
Can our country afford to squander those dollars?
We encourage you to use this information to advocate for DACA-DREAMers with your congresspeople. Here is the link to search for your representatives’ contact information.
Here is a table that describes the potential GDP loss in 10 years for each state.
You do not need to be an economist or a policy wonk to understand these numbers. They speak to us loud and clear. Ending DACA would wound our economy and our communities for years to come, unless Congress finds a permanent solution. We are waiting.