The Future of Obama’s Dreamers

In 2012, President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows some undocumented immigrants the opportunity to receive a renewable two-year deferment on deportation and temporary work authorization.1 President Trump, however, has not taken a firm stance on the program.2 Trump told The Associated Press in April that Dreamers, as recipients of DACA are known, should “rest easy.”3 Nonetheless, his administration has deported dozens of Dreamers protected under the previous administration’s program.4 There are currently 760,000 people who benefit from the DACA program.5

Deportation of Dreamers has both economic and legal ramifications. If Trump eliminates DACA, Dreamers could be forced into lower-wage jobs.6 Turning people who qualify for white-collar work into blue-collar workers could create competition for Americans whose skill sets only fit blue-collar work.7 Furthermore, deporting the thousands of Dreamers could cost the government $60 billion.8 The Cato Institute also projects the deportation of Dreamers will cause a $280 billion decline in economic growth within a decade as well as a loss in tax revenue.9 Due to uncertainty about the program’s future, people are already declining to enroll in the program or to renew their status.10

DACA remains as divisive as ever, as those who oppose the program say it creates more problems for American workers.11 Ira Mehlman, media director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said that the Dreamers create unnecessary competition within the labor market.12 He also stated that the economy can adjust to the absence of the Dreamers the same way it adjusted to large numbers of people working in the U.S. illegally.13

Still, plenty of people are sympathetic to the Dreamers’ cause. Senator Cory Booker comments, “These are people who don’t know other countries, many of them who have no memory of their home nation. It’s just a stunning undermining of their ability to contribute to the country they know and love.”14


Leave a Reply

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.