DACA Talking Points

What is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?

After the failure of immigration reform, President Obama created a policy calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the US as children (aka “Dreamers”)

What is deferred action?

At the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion, certain individuals can be granted deferred action which allows them to remain in the U.S. without fear of prosecution for immigration law violations. Eligible individuals who came to the US as a child, are in school, and have not committed any crime, are given deferred action as well as the ability to apply for  employment authorization. However, a DACA recipient, unless eligible for other reasons, is not eligible for lawful permanent residence/citizenship, and DACA status can be revoked at any time.

What can change?

President Trump has come out against DACA, although he has recently softened his stance. Because DACA was created through an Executive Order rather than signed into law, it can be ended at any time.

What has happened so far?

  • Trump has made no new policies specifically about DACA
  • However, his new policy of prioritizing everyone for removal means that DACA recipient could be detained. It is unclear what happens when a DACA recipient is detained (as has already happened).
  • A bipartisan bill has been unveiled in the senate to make DACA law but it is still in committee

What could happen?

  • The administration could simply end new applications and phase out the program
  • The administration could terminate the program and revoke work permits

How many people currently have DACA status?

Roughly 750,000 people.

What would getting rid of DACA do?

  According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, if DACA recipients were kicked out of the workforce, it could

  • cause employers and business to incur turnover costs of $3.4 billion
  • reduce tax contributions by $24.6 billion
  • wipe away $433.4 billion from the US gross domestic product over a decade.

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