Today, the Trump administration announced that it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an immigration policy first implemented during the Obama administration. DACA has helped roughly 800,000 young people who have lived in the United States since their childhood — known as Dreamers — to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in the U.S. In Ohio, DACA has changed the lives of more than 4,400 young people, allowing them to live, study, and work in America without fear of deportation.
Ending DACA could put Dreamers at risk of deportation, tearing apart families, creating tremendous disruptions for businesses, and sending shock waves through Ohio’s economy. In fact, Ohio stands to lose more than $251.6 million annually in state gross domestic product (GDP) if Ohio’s estimated 3,865 DACA workers are removed from the workforce.
“Immigrant workers and entrepreneurs play an enormous and vital role in our economy, and DACA has empowered thousands of young people in Ohio to better contribute to their families and their communities,” said For Ohio’s Future Action Fund’s State Director Antonia Webb. “By ending DACA, President Trump and his administration are dealing a massive blow to our economy and upending the lives of thousands of young Ohioans who proudly call America home. Republicans in Congress must now decide which side of history they want to be on: either they act immediately to protect America’s talented and hardworking Dreamers, or allow Trump to destroy the lives and livelihoods of these young people.”
A new national survey of DACA recipients illustrates the positive effects that DACA has had on America’s economy and the lives of young people:
- 97% of respondents reported that they are currently employed or enrolled in school
- 69% of respondents said that, after receiving DACA, they were able to move to a job with better pay
- Respondents’ average hourly earnings increased nearly 70% after receiving DACA, which translates into higher tax revenues and economic growth
- Among respondents 25 years and older, 8% reported that they started their own business after receiving DACA — a rate that is more than twice that of the American public as a whole
In addition to the clear benefits of DACA, the program is also extremely popular among voters — even among Trump voters. Nearly 8 in 10 voters, including nearly three-fourths of Trump voters, support giving DREAMers the chance to stay permanently in America.