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20 Attorneys General, Alongside New Economic Data, Emphasize Need for Maintaining DACA

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This week, we have outlined why President Trump needs to keep DACA in place until Congress can enact a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, particularly as it faces mounting threats by lawmakers and the Trump Administration. Just last month, officials from 10 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, gave the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions an ultimatum: end DACA by September 5th or face a lawsuit.

CAP report: repeal of DACA would cost $460b

Today, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report uncovering how the 10 states at the helm of this threat would stand to lose more than $8 billion in state GDP with the abolishment of DACA. The report also notes that national GDP would face a loss of $460.3 billion over the next decade.

“Using data from two Center for American Progress publications—a report that estimates the gross domestic product (GDP) declines that would accompany removing all unauthorized workers from the country and a survey that estimates the share of DACA recipients who are employed—CAP estimates that ending DACA would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. Ending DACA would remove an estimated 685,000 workers from the nation’s economy.

Altogether, the 10 states demanding that the Trump administration end DACA—Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia—stand to lose more than $8 billion annually in state GDP if they get their wish.”

Attorneys General send letter to Trump

In the same vein, Attorneys General from 19 states and the District of Columbia, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, wrote a letter to President Trump this morning imploring him to keep DACA in place, and unpacking the economic costs of ending DACA, stating that the move would cost American businesses “billions” in turnover costs.

The consequences of rescinding DACA would be severe, not just for the hundreds of thousands of young people who rely on the program—and for their employers, schools, universities, and families—but for the country’s economy as a whole. For example, in addition to lost tax revenue, American businesses would face billions in turnover costs, as employers would lose qualified workers whom they have trained and in whom they have invested.3 And as the chief law officers of our respective states, we strongly believe that DACA has made our communities safer, enabling these young people to report crimes to police without fear of deportation.

The letter continues:

You have repeatedly expressed your support for Dreamers. Today, we join together to urge you not to capitulate to the demands Texas and nine other states set forth in their June 29, 2017, letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That letter demands, under threat of litigation, that your Administration end the DACA initiative. The arguments set forth in that letter are wrong as a matter of law and policy.

…Mr. President, now is the time to affirm the commitment you made, both to the “incredible kids” who benefit from DACA and to their families and our communities, to handle this issue “with heart.”  You said Dreamers should “rest easy.”  We urge you to affirm America’s values and tradition as a nation of immigrants and make clear that you will not only continue DACA, but that you will defend it.  The cost of not doing so would be too high for America, the economy, and for these young people.  For these reasons, we urge you to maintain and defend DACA, and we stand in support of the effort to defend DACA by all appropriate means.