In 2012, President Obama passed an executive action, which deferred the deportation of young immigrants and allows them to get access to work permits. This is known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Work permits and other benefits, given to these children, however, are only the immediate manifestation of the program.
Young adults and children, who have DACA status, are able to get higher education, get health insurance, and probably most importantly participate in the community without living in fear of deportation. Youth entering into the legal workforce has not only benefited each individual, but has allowed the United States to get an increase in tax revenue. Additionally, more earning more money means more spending for these young people, resulting in an increase of money flow in the economy. Centers for American Progress has provided a state by state analysis of the economic impact.
More and more of these DACA students are going on to colleges, universities or even professional schools. If you go to an institute of higher education, virtually all of them have many DACA children that are thriving. In a group of their peers, there is virtually no way to identify who is undocumented. DACA has empowered these young people to respect and feel a loyalty to the United States and aspire to be productive members of society. It is not uncommon that the United States has actually been home for as long as they can remember. To many, DACA is a baton passed to succeed more than they ever thought possible.
It is now four years after President Obama first passed DACA. As we speak, there is debate over whether a new form of DACA and an expansion of similar benefits to parents (DAPA) is an abuse of discretion by the President. SCOTUS is currently deciding in United States v. Texas if, in fact, it within the executive’s power to grant a large portion of the population such benefits or does this power lie within the legislative branch. This decision may have just as big of an impact as the original executive action, DACA, on young people and may extend to their families too.
*For updates on SCOTUS decisions