One July 23, 2023, the Denver Post carried an in-depth analysis of the effect of ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) on young immigrants, employers and the U.S. economy. (The story was originally written by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Rebecca Robbins for the New York Times.)
Some important highlights:
- DACA, put in place by President Barak Obama, protected immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, lived in the U.S. continuously since June or 2007, were free of any felony convictions or significant misdemeanors, and posed no threat to national security or public safety, among other requirements.
- DACA provided two years of renewable protection from deportation and provided permits allowing young recipients to work.
- President Donald Trump ended new applications for DACA in 2017, allowing only existing recipients to apply for renewal.
- Multiple challenges to DACA by several states are expected to soon reach the U.S. Supreme Court, where “the conservative majority is expected to strike the policy down” unless Congress acts.
- There are 600,000 immigrants signed up for DACA relief across the U.S., 13,000 of them in Colorado.
- In 2017, the Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank, estimated that ending DACA would cost American employers $6.3 billion and require them to train 720,000 new employees.
- Over a 10-year period, the federal government could lose $60 billion in revenue, and the impact on the economy as a whole would be a $215 billionloss in gross domestic product.
- In Colorado, that would total approximately $3.52 billionin costs to the state.
- A 2016 study showed that heads of households who were able to get DACA status saw a 38% reduction in poverty, were more likely to purchase homes and to have healthier children with fewer mental health problems