The End for DACA?

By Elizabeth O’Neil ’18

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, is an immigration policy that was founded during the Obama administration in 2012.[1] For those who are not familiar, the purpose of DACA was to protect immigrant youth who came to the United States as children from deportation.[2] DACA allows certain illegal immigrants who entered into the country as children and “meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal and are also eligible for work authorization.”[3] Children who came to the United States before the age of 16, and have continuously lived in the United States, are eligible to request DACA status.[4] Based on a recent study by Tom K. Wong of the University of California, which examined 1,308 DACA recipients, DACA has made a positive impact for the recipients as well as the American economy as a whole.[5] Dr. Wong’s study provides empiracal evidence that demonstrates how DACA recipients are making significant contributions to the economy by buying cars and homes, which has created more revenue for states in the form of sales and property tax. [6]

With that being said, what would happen if DACA were to end? Early in September, President Trump ordered an end to the program.[7] He plans to phase out the program over the next six months.[8] Officials say that as early as March 800,000 youths who were brought to the United States illegally, and who are qualified for DACA, will become eligible for deportation.[9] Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA, stating “those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and putting down their wages.”[10]

Many are not in agreement with President Trump. In response to the President’s decision, former President Barack Obama stated “we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”[11] Protests also broke out around the country after the decision was announced to end DACA.[12]

According to a study done at the Cato Institute, the economic and fiscal impact of repealing DACA could be very significant.[13] It estimates that the fiscal cost of deporting approximately 750,000 people currently in the DACA program would cost over $60 billion to the federal government along with a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.[14]

The fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants will be decided in the next six months according to President Trump.

[1] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, (last visited Sept. 9, 2017).

[2] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, supra note 1.

[3] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, supra note 1.

[4] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, supra note 1.

[5] Tom K. Wong, New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes, Center for American Progress, (Oct. 18, 2016 12:00 PM),

[6] Wong, supra note 5.

[7] Michael Shear, Trump Moves to end DACA and Calls on Congress to Act, The New York Times, (Sept. 5, 2017),

[8] Shear, supra note 7.

[9] Shear, supra note 7.

[10] Shear, supra note 7.

[11] Kevin Liptak, Obama slams Trump for rescinding DACA, calls move ‘cruel’, CNN, (Sept. 5, 2017 11:37 PM),

[12] Khristina Narizhnaya, Thousands gather in Midtown to protest Trump’s DACA decision, The New York Post, (Sept. 9, 2017, 8:41 PM),

[13] Ike Brannon, The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Repealing DACA, Cato Institute (Jan. 18, 2017, 3:00 PM),

[14] Brannon, supra note 13.

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