Donald Trump’s recently released “contract with the American voter” – his 100-day plan action plan once he takes office on January 20 – doesn’t specifically mention that he’ll revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But in the past Trump has said he’d “immediately terminate” Obama’s executive actions on immigration. And unlike some of his other implausible plans, DACA is something he can easily undo.
With one simple memo, Trump can unilaterally move to end DACA. The program came from an executive memorandum created by Obama’s secretary of Homeland security. Trump could kill DACA with a counter-memo. But for the president-elect – who’s said he’s going to get the economy “running” again – doing away with the program would be a mistake. DACA has allowed many undocumented youth go to school and join the workforce.
A new Center for American Progress study found that if Trump cuts DACA, something like 645,145 people would lose their work permits – an estimated loss of $433.4 billion in growth for the U.S. economy. Sampling 1,308 people from September 8 to September 26, 2016, Tom K. Wong – an associate professor of political science at UC San Diego – reports that DACA isn’t just beneficial for the recipient, but for the economy as a whole. With DACAmented individuals buying first homes and cars, they’re contributing to the economy. Some have even started their own businesses – creating new jobs in the process. Wong’s research also details that those with DACA are working across all sectors. Of the 1,308 he spoke to, 87 percent currently work.