Rep. Peters Urges President Trump to Maintain DACA Program
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) urged President Trump to maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that allows nearly 800,000 immigrants who arrived in the United States as young children to live openly and contribute to their communities and the economy without fear of deportation. According to various news reports, President Trump is considering ending the program despite strong objections from the business community and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.
San Diego County has the seventh largest population of DACA-eligible residents of any county in America, with an estimated 38,000 San Diegans who are currently eligible or could be in the future. To be eligible for DACA, an individual must have been brought to the United States before they were 16 years old; have maintained continuous residence here since 2007; be attending school, have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, or have been honorably discharged from military service; and have not been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors. DACA applicants, or DREAMers, must pay nearly $500 to apply and receive a background check and fingerprinting.
Ending DACA would immediately cause American companies and small businesses to lose 645,000 of the employees they depend on and cost them an estimated $3.4 billion in termination and replacement costs. This would disproportionately affect the education, health care, retail, and manufacturing sectors in which many DACA recipients are currently employed. It is also estimated that ending DACA would reduce Social Security contributions by $19.9 billion over the next decade.
Rep. Peters released the following statement:
“America is founded on the promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, then we will have a place for you. That’s the American dream, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t extend to people who were brought here as young children and are working to build a better life, contribute to our society and toward making their own way.
“DREAMers are our friends, our neighbors, and our coworkers. Our economy is more prosperous because of their contributions.
“Ending DACA would be an economic and moral debacle. It wouldn’t make us safer or fix our broken immigration system – only comprehensive immigration reform can do that. Ending DACA would only rip families apart and shoot our economy in the foot.
“I urge President Trump to listen to business leaders, elected officials from both parties, and voices from places like San Diego and maintain the DACA program. And if he doesn’t, Congress must act swiftly to protect DREAMers, or it will be complicit in this hateful, misguided approach.”