The news has been full of Trump’s movements towards a “better” United States, and lately, the spotlight has been on DACA. If you aren’t completely sure what the big deal is, DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, put in place to aid the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to America illegally through no fault of their own. The concern of some is that this program is robbing hard-working Americans of their jobs, which may seem true on the surface; further investigation, however, shows that DACA recipients have actually provided more help than harm to the American economy.
87% of DACA recipients are employed. This proves that most who benefit from this program are utilizing their aid in a way that benefits the United States economy. After earning their EAD cards (employment authorization document, aka “work permit”), 42% saw an increase in their earned wages.
Higher wages? More money available to be taxed.
More money taxed? More money earned for the economy.
So, how will this affect us in the North Carolina High Country? This is our million-dollar question. If you have coworkers that benefit from DACA, you could face discretization. The termination of DACA would lead to recipients losing their work authorization, and make them vulnerable to mistreatment in the workplace, unsafe working conditions, and possible wage decrease. If you share a workplace with these Americans, then you too could feel the impact of these changes. A researcher named Victoria Crouse found that upon the end of DACA, North Carolina would experience a loss of 1.1 billion (yes, BILLION) dollars annually in GDP; fast forward 10 years and the country would lose 433.4 billion (BILLION here, too) total in GDP.
Not only would we lose massive amounts of money, but we would lose massive swaths of workers as well. Statistics show and suggest that immigrants’ children are more likely to work in comparison to Americans’ children (especially in the upcoming years), so the end of DACA will mean a large decrease in working Americans.
Fewer workers? Less money available to be taxed.
Less paid taxes? Less money moving through the economy.
It’s all about the circulation of money, in case you haven’t already come to this realization. Now, we can put these puzzle pieces together: Immigrants and their children are not utilizing DACA to take away Americans’ jobs. The program’s recipients work alongside us and are just as much a part of the good ole United States’ economy as we are.