Trump recently announced the removal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration policy that the Obama government established in 2012. However, the U.S. economy could suffer and lose a lot of money over the next decade as a result.
As CNBC reports, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that there will be a six-month period for the “wind down” of DACA. The six months will grant Congress some time to formulate their next move concerning the program or even make a replacement policy that will grant the same immunity to the young undocumented immigrants.
Obama’s program allowed almost 800,000 illegal immigrants, minors at the time they entered the U.S., to stay and work in the country without the danger of getting deported back to their homelands. When Trump announced that DACA will be rescinded, those 800,000 people, who are now working on American soil, will lose their jobs. The U.S.economy will reflect this loss, with California and Florida taking the hardest blow because they have the most number of people under the program.
Ramifications to the economy and businesses
The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a study that indicates the effects when employees under DACA will lose their job. The study showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) would lose at around $460.3 billion within a decade. California would lose a total of $11.3 billion annually, while Texas and North Carolina would incur yearly losses amounting to $6.1 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.
According to Chicago Tribune, the DACA repeal contradicts the pro-business platform Trump promised during his presidential campaign. A lot of the recipients have become taxpayers in the country, while the remaining population is striving hard to study in order to finally give something back to society. These two groups also make up a sizable chunk of American products consumers.
Aside from the over $460 billion loss from the nation’s GDP, the CAP study detailed that the country also stands to lose around $24 billion worth of Medicare and Social Security contributions should DACA be axed.
Business Insider further elaborated that the end of DACA will result in the participants’ vulnerability to deportation and loss of labor rights and employment law protections in their respective works. Fear would be instilled in the minds of the immigrants under DACA. They would also receive low pay as a result of DACA’s cancellation as what another CAP report explained.
In a press conference, Sessions claimed that Americans lost their opportunity to get jobs because of the participants under DACA getting these jobs. Sarah Huckabee, the press secretary for the White House, added that unemployed Americans can fill the void that the DACA recipients left in companies. Still, employers will take a hit because of this change. Immigration policy analyst David Bier said that if the employers fired workers protected by DACA, they will lose $6.3 billion.
DACA removal opposition from industry leaders
A lot of industry leaders expressed their opposition to the removal of DACA. Some of these businessmen include CEOs like Hathaway Berkshire’s Warren Buffett, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook. Bill Gates is also against Trump’s decision.
Meanwhile, Daily Mail reported that Democrats did not take the “wind-down” of DACA well. Democrat Senator Tim Kaine called the move to rescind DACA “heartless.” They used the hashtag “#DefendDACA” in an effort to save the policy. Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, said that Trump is acting like a coward with his decision. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand posted on Twitter that it is gratuitous to take away the jobs of the young adults who are exerting a lot of effort just to gain some “political points.” She also added that the decision will not promise more safety to the communities and more power to the American economy.
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