Five Things You Need to Know About Today’s Decision on DACA
1) DACA has transformed the lives of 800,000 people. They all came forward to register with the government, went through an extensive process, paid a fee, passed a background check (including fingerprinting), gave all of their information to the government – including current addresses, cell phone numbers and family information – and in exchange get a permit that they must renew every two years that allows them to work and live legally in the United States. DACA is legal and constitutional – and it is working. These Dreamers serve in our military abroad and as first responders in Texas, others are teachers, nurses, and engineers.
2) Because these Dreamers MUST renew their DACA every two years, we implore everyone to remember: Ending Renewals Ends DACA. Ending Renewals Ends DACA. Ending Renewals Ends DACA…don’t fall for an argument that this is “sunsetting” or “grandfathering” or a “compromise” or “middle ground.” Everyone must renew their DACA every two years, and the consequences of barring renewals are devastating. Without implementing a permanent legislative solution, roughly 1,400 Dreamers will lose their work permits every single business day for the next two years, eventually leaving them all without the ability to work or remain productive members of society. No one – no one – is talking about clawing back 800,000 existing work permits – this is a stalking horse. Allowing renewals is the status quo, and one supported previously by President Trump, who has issued more than 200,000 DACA renewals since he took office.
3) You are likely to hear spin that “this is about a program, not these kids” and even if DACA ends, Dreamers have nothing to fear in terms of deportation. That is simply NOT true. ICE dramatically changed their enforcement priorities in a memo issued on January 25th, 2017, making EVERY undocumented immigrant a priority for removal. If DACA protections are removed, every Dreamer will be under immediate and constant threat of deportation. ICE Director testified to the House Appropriations Committee that “no population is off the table” and agenda should “take action against all undocumented immigrants encountered while on duty.”
4) New research by FWD.us and CAP shows that an average of 30,000 DACA recipients would lose their jobs each month if DACA is repealed. That’s 1,400 individuals who would be ripped out of the American workforce every business day. Ending DACA without a Dream Act in place would mean $460 billion in lost GDP over the next decade. The devastating moral and economic consequences of a DACA repeal are why over 500 business leaders from around the country are pushing to keep DACA in place until the Dream Act is passed.
5) No matter what the decision today, Congress must pass the bipartisan Dream Act immediately to protect these incredible young people who are already contributing to our communities and our economy. House Republicans have also introduced legislation to protect Dreamers (the RAC Act), but every Member who stands with Dreamers must cosponsor legislation that would allow Dreamers to continue working and living in the United States. Congress can and must fix this immediately.