As the Supreme Court hears a pivotal case that could determine the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, South Carolina Appleseed stands with DACA recipients and Dreamers to celebrate the success of the DACA program and the contributions that DACA recipients and Dreamers make to this country.
DACA provides opportunity for those brought to this country without documentation at a young age to apply for work authorization and not be subject to deportation. The DACA program has allowed people who have lived the majority of their lives in this country after being brought in as children, to realize the same opportunities that all Americans have, such as getting a attain drivers’ license, being able to go to college and become a professional. DACA status is not a complete solution, but a step in the right direction. Ultimately Congress must pass legislation to create a path to citizenship for current DACA recipients and other Dreamers.
If the Supreme Court does not uphold DACA and Congress fails to act, 690,000 DACA recipients will lose the ability to work legally and will be subject to deportation proceedings. Over 6,000 of those DACA recipients live here in South Carolina. This would cause huge social and economic costs to this country and no benefits.
In South Carolina, we have just over 10,000 DACA eligible individuals who have a combined annual income of $193.3 million dollars and have contributed $17.7 million dollars in federal taxes and $10.9 million dollars in state taxes. Over the next 10 years, DACA recipients will contribute an estimated $433.4 billion to the national GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare. Ending DACA could also remove an estimated 685,000 workers, which could cost employers $3.4 billion in turnover costs. Ending DACA would put immigrant families, many of them in mixed status homes, at risk of being separated.
The DACA program has been a huge economic and social success – allowing thousands of people who grew up in this country to realize their dreams by granting them work authorization and protection from deportation. Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, South Carolina Appleseed will continue to stand with DACA recipients and Dreamers to push Congress to create a path to citizenship.. No matter what the court decides, we know what is right and will continue to fight.