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ICYMI: McDonough: “Ending DACA could add risks to U.S. security and regional stability”

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In an expert opinion for Axios, Denis McDonough, former deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, offers a clear-eyed look at what the costs of ending the DACA termination really are. Ending DACA — the question that goes before the Supreme Court next week — will affect not only the 700,000 immigrant lives at stake, but overall endangers U.S. security and the role of our country as a Western leader. While Trump continues the drumbeat that an influx of migrants increases violence and as a result threatens the country, McDonough offers contrary insight to Trump’s mantra. 

McDonough outlines these repercussions here: 

  1. The cost of DACA deportations could run as high as $7.5 billion. Funding its rescission would require shifting resources away from cross-border crime, counterterrorism and emergent threats that homeland security and law enforcement officials could otherwise prioritize.
  2. Hundreds of DACA recipients are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program. MAVNI recruits immigrants with language skills and cultural competencies that are especially valuable to Special Operations Forces carrying out sensitive missions.
  3. The majority of DACA recipients would be deported to countries in Central and South America that are already struggling with poverty, crime and oversubscribed social services. A large influx of returning migrants would add to the destabilizing strain throughout the region and could further exacerbate the challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border.