by Marc Morial
An overwhelming majority of voters – about 85% – are opposed to deporting immigrants who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. These “Dreamers,” as they are known, were brought into the United States as children, most of them younger than 7. About 90 percent of Dreamers are employed, more than 70 percent have attended college.
Despite widespread support for allowing Dreamers to remain, the Trump Administration has acquiesced to 10 state attorneys general who threatened to sue if it did not end the program. But even President Trump does not want to deport Dreamers. “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” he wrote on Twitter.
Sadly, many of the people who voted for him do, and voted for him because he said he would do it. But even among the most hard-core supporters of the President, those who say they “strongly approve” of his performance, only a third favor deportation of Dreamers.
With this kind of support, it’s hard to understand why 800,000 hard-working, law-abiding contributing members of society are in danger of being wrenched from the only country they’ve ever known. Many do not even speak the language of the countries of their birth.
In addition to the human catastrophe deportation of Dreamers represents, the U.S. would lose about $460 billion in GDP over the next 10 years and about 700,000 people could lose their jobs.
While there is a chance that deportations of Dreamers will not occur, it’s shameful that they should be in a position to fear it at all. Dreamers trusted the United States government in enrolling in the program, now that very trust could be used against them. There is no justification for ending the program even as a legislative solution is sought.
Protecting Dreamers is quite simply the right thing to do. It is the moral thing to do. It’s the economically sound thing to do. And even though it shouldn’t matter, it’s the popular thing to do. We urge Congress to immediately pass legislation protecting Dreamers and call upon the Trump administration to reinstate DACA so no Dreamer has to fear deportation from the home they love.