The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. The program, launched during the Obama administration, allowed approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors to work and live in the country legally.
The program provided these undocumented immigrantswith an employment authorization document (EAD), which grants protections to work in America.
According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a left-leaning organization, 91% of DACA's recipients have secured gainful employment over the last five years. Rescinding the DACA would render these individuals unable to legally work in the United States.
A recent study from CAP found that about 700,000 workers would lose their jobs if the program disappears, which would cost employers roughly $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs. Over the next decade, their loss of labor could amount to $460.3 billion in economic output.
Effectively immediately, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept initial or new applications for DACA benefits. Applications that have already been received and are awaiting adjudication will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Those with work permits slated to expire in March 2018 have until October 7, 2017 to apply for a two-year extension. Anyone with a work permit slated to expire after this date may not extend their employment authorizations and will lose their ability to legally work in the U.S. when the permit expires. All beneficiaries of the DACA program will lose their employment authorization by March 5, 2020.
Beneficiaries of DACA will instantly become deportable after their work permits expire and will essentially be left without any employment law protections or labor rights, says Daniel Costa, Economic Policy Institute's director of immigration law and policy research.
Employers in California will lose the largest number of employees once DACA beneficiaries lose their work permits. California has 223,000 DACA approvals. Texas and New York follow closely behind, with 124,000 and 54,000 approvals respectively.
With such a large percentage of DACA recipients in the workforce and paying taxes, experts warn that rescinding the program may hurt the economy and government tax coffers. CBS Newsestimates that California will lose $11.6 billion in annual GDP if DACA recipients are removed.
Many businesses have come out to express their support for the DACA program, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to the company's employees: "I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans – including more than 250 of our Apple coworkers – may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they've ever called home."
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