Experts Are Warning The U.S. Supreme Court About The Economic Impacts Of Rescinding DACA Protections
In June, it was announced that the fates of almost 1 million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, would now be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case will be brought up as an appeal to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program back in Fall 2017. The hearing is set to happen before the high court’s next term and will decide the legality of the Obama-era program. The argument focuses on if-then President Barack Obama acted legally in enacting the program. If so, the Trump administration could revoke the program as long as it shows good reasoning to do so.
DACA provided temporary legal status for participants and protected them from deportation. This included the ability to work in the U.S. It also became a focal point in the debate over Trump’s proposed US-Mexico border wall back in February and his plans to take on illegal immigration. A ruling is expected in the 2020 election year, putting the highest court in the land at the center of this divisive issue.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries are waiting on the Supreme Court decision on the program that could protect them or hurt them.
There will certainly come disappointment and growing fears from those who were protected under DACA if the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration. Experts are pointing to the likelihood that the removal of the program could cause harm to the U.S. economy as a whole. The removal of DACA would include the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs and taxes that would force more people into illegal hiring practice.
“Getting rid of DACA will reduce economic growth and cost our federal, state, and local governments about $95 billion in foregone tax revenues, without any appreciable employment gains for U.S. citizens,” Ike Branon writes in an op-ed for Forbes.
When it comes to education, DACA recipients, who must have graduated from high school to qualify for the program, are on par with their U.S. citizen counterparts. This comes despite facing multiple roadblocks when it comes to receiving student aid or certain loans to pursue a college degree. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 55 percent of DACA recipients were employed back in 2017. This translates to 382,000 workers paying taxes and strengthening the U.S. economy.
With so limited financial aid options for school, many DACA recipients must take on one to two jobs to help support themselves through their college years. Branon writes that “the labor force participation rates of DACA recipients is above that of the general population,” signaling to contrary belief that true makeup of this group.
If a court decision sides with the Trump administration there is a strong possibility of mass deportations of more than one million young adults residing in the U.S. under DACA protection.
The Supreme Court’s decision has a lot at stake that will affect more than just DACA recipients. There is the probability that many of those young adults under protection would lose their jobs due to their legal status. This would also certainly have a significant negative impact on the U.S. economy and cause some concern in the overall job marketplace.
A large portion of DACA recipients are “well-educated workers” that have some obtained a college degree. Almost half a million of those degrees would be rendered useless due to the changed legal status of those recipients if the program is rescinded. It would be difficult to simply fill those high-skilled jobs and do so without disrupting the overall U.S. economy.
There is the potential loss of billions of economic and tax dollars that would be lost without having those protected under DACA part of the U.S economy. While the number is still uncertain, estimated figures see the economic impact from rescinding DACA of roughly $200 billion in the next 10 years. The loss of tax revenue would be close to $60 billion.
There is enough evidence to support having permanent protections for DACA recipients.
Whether it’s jobs or more educated people in the U.S., there is no doubt that applying permanent DACA protections would create more prosperity. The statistics show creating a pathway for legal citizenship is beneficial for all and will only cause more harm than good is rescinded.
So what are the odds that the Supreme Court sides with DACA?
The court currently has a conservative majority of 5-4 but many believe that vote will come down to conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, who has leaned liberal in recent years. We will have to wait until the court’s next term to find out the fate of one of the most politically charged issues of our time.