Future of DACA program is uncertain

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Learn more about Laura Collins.
Laura Collins
Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative
George W. Bush Institute

Nearly 600,000 DACA recipients who have only known the United States as their home are living with the real fear of deportation.

Recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal. Current DACA recipients are still allowed to renew their status, however, while the lower court determines the fate of the program.

 

This means that nearly 600,000 people who have only known the United States as their home are living with the real fear of deportation. DACA is the executive branch program that allows some Dreamers, immigrants brought her as children who do not have a legal immigration status otherwise, to gain limited protections and work permits.

 

While the program remains for now, it is only a matter of time before the courts strike it down completely, leaving no protections in place and no alternatives. While Dreamers with DACA protection are able to work, they do not have legal status or a path to a green card and then citizenship.

 

Dreamers are fundamentally American in all ways except their passports, and they are important to our economy— it’s estimated that DACA recipients contribute $42 billion to U.S. GDP each year.

 

Congress can and should provide a permanent solution for Dreamers. And the American public agrees. Congress should act with urgency to ensure Dreamers can continue to thrive in the U.S.