The Trump administration announced that it’s officially terminating the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in six months. On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision, and stated that the program is unconstitutional and denies American jobs.
“Simply put, if we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and the rule of law in America, the Department of Justice cannot defend this type of overreach,” Sessions said during a press conference.
The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday. An estimated 800,000 Dreamers whose permits expire on March 6, or later, will lose their protections and work permits as soon as they expire, putting them at risk of deportation.
“There is no humane way to end DACA before having a permanent legislative fix in place,” said Lorella Praeli, the ACLU Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns. “Trump just threw the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers and their families, including my own, into fearful disarray and injected chaos and uncertainty into thousands of workplaces and communities across America.”
So what does this mean for DACA participants?
- Dreamers are now at high risk of being sent away from the country they’ve lived in for as long as they can remember.
- Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to lose their jobs. Anyone whose status expires by March 5 has one month to apply for a new two-year permit, and those applications will be processed.
- A study published by the Cato Institute estimated the termination of DACA and enrolled in the program would cost the federal government $60 billion and would reduce economic growth by $280 billion in the next 10 years.
For a president who wants to bring money and jobs back into the country, eliminating DACA is a sure fire way to f-ck up the economy. Congress has six months to potentially offer a sound solution in response to the cancellation of the program. Some Republicans are trying to push a more conservative version of the Dream Act called the Recognizing America’s Children Act (RAC), which would offer citizenship to a limited amount of Dreamers. But with half a year to figure it out, there’s plenty of time for them to shift their intentions.