For a nation that prides itself on its care for children, eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program seems contradictory — and mean-spirited. It is a punishing of the innocent and a crippling of our future.
Nearly 800,000 young people have benefited from DACA. These young people have been able to come out of the shadows, after receiving through DACA short-term, but important, legal status and work authorization. But they received nothing for free. They have had to pay legal and processing and further fees, while working and attending school at their own cost.
That is to say: for the opportunity to stay in the country they were brought to without any say on their part, DACA recipients have had to work hard — and they have brought great benefits to the U.S. According to a recent study from the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, removing DACA recipients from the U.S. workforce would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. From a practical economic perspective, ending the program seems very shortsighted.