The news about ending the DACA program has gotten a lot of attention as it very well should. From a practical standpoint, if a child comes here at the age of one, lives here almost their entire life, and is suddenly deported to a country she never knew to begin with at the age of 23, how does that benefit Americans? Among other things, that young person is usually working, or about to start working, and that means paying taxes. DACA recipients work and pay taxes. Opponents of immigration reform are arguing hard and fast, attempting to strike fear into Americans by luridly suggesting that if we don’t deport these young people, that our families might become victims of crime—leaving off that these young people aren’t eligible for DACA if they’ve committed a serious crime, which they are less likely to do than the average American anyways. What is really going to occur is that American businesses are going to lose a great deal of money should these, often well-educated, young people be deported.
From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense, at all.
It’s telling that the people who are advocating to keep DACA are, for the most part, the people who work alongside DACA recipients, or hire them. Experience with DACA residents leads to a greater understanding of what it means to be a DACA recipient and what it’s like to work alongside one—those experiences are worth far more than any talking points on the matter. Experience matters.
So, why does the right want to remove DACA and export undocumented workers?
Really, why do they?
1. Rule of law
2. Fear of crime (irrational, not supported by the data)
3. Racism/Xenophobia (no experience with recipients = no relatable framework for empathy)
If I was a betting person, I’d bet on #3. The talking points being used are quite easily debunked. Racism and xenophobia aren’t.