By Ava Ikbal, Opinion Writer
What ever happened to the pressing issue regarding the youth immigrants of America that trended on twitter for a day and has now been forgotten? Well, it’s still a problem and I’ll tell you why.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was an administrative policy established by the Obama administration in 2012. This policy attempts to allow people who entered the US as minors to defer their deportment and become eligible for a work permit. Almost 800,000 people, called Dreamers, are enrolled in this program as of 2017. Why is this important? The 45th is now ending this program and therefore, planning to deport almost 800,000 immigrants, mostly youth, for no reason.
Oh wait, there is a reason, as US Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated, “Immigrants are stealing American jobs.” First of all, most immigrants aren’t even able to get the jobs most desired by Americans. Undocumented workers usually end up taking the unpleasant, tedious jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. Research shows that even though legal immigrants make up only 15 percent of the nation’s workforce, they account for about a quarter of entrepreneurs and investors. Not only that, “over one third of new firms have immigrants in their initial leadership team.” Second, the educated legal immigrants under DACA end up creating new jobs or filling jobs that low-skilled Americans are unable to do. “College graduates are more prevalent among recent immigrant adults than among all adults in 90 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas.” We actually need these immigrants to fill our jobs. As of 2017, the US has reached nearly full employment. According to the American Action Forum Study, even if all Americans filled the open jobs positions after deportation, the country would still be short of 4 million workers.
The Journal of Public Economics released a study in 2016 that stated how DACA increased participation in the labor force and ultimately decreased the unemployment rate for Dreamers. Economically speaking, ending this program will do more damage than good. Since the population is aging, there are less working-age people to pay taxes for benefits like Social Security and Medicare. A new generation of motivated youth immigrants who will join the future workforce and pay more taxes is exactly what is needed for our economy.
Furthermore, economist, Giovanni Peri, stated that “DACA increases consumption and overall demand for US services, products, and jobs where the DACA recipients live and spend.” He also stated that getting rid of DACA would result in an economic loss of $215 billion, a fiscal loss of $60 billion and $7.5 billion in deportation costs. Are you just as confused as I’ve been? Not only do these youth immigrants contribute positively to our economy, but deporting them actually creates fiscal loss and economic strain on the US. So, why is the 45th trying to deport them?
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.
They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” – 45th. Do we honestly believe that this man is deporting these immigrants simply because they’re so called, “taking American jobs?” Let’s review. 800,000 immigrants, mainly youth, most of whom are educated, are fully contributing to our thriving economy, adding diversity to our culture and 45th wants to send them back to developing countries with no hope for the future. 45th has no other reason to deport all of those youth other than a racist agenda. #DefendDACA should be without say.
Now, what can we do?
1. Join Seton Hall’s effort to #DefendDaca
a. Senator Ikbal and President Simon will be holding outreach events where students will write postcards to local representatives and urging them to fight for DACA
2. Do Something is a nonprofit that has a large campaign to protest the repeal of DACA. Show your support by checking out their website, dosomething.org
3. Social Media! This is our biggest platform to have our voice heard, especially as college students.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.
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