June 23, 2016

Univision: What DACA & DAPA Really Mean for the U.S. Economy

Economists, demographers, and educators have all agreed that immigration in general provides an essential contribution to our growing economy.

The fate of millions of families hangs in the balance as the Supreme Court gets closer to announcing their decision on United States v. Texas. The outcome of this case will impact more than just immigrants. Failing to uphold the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA+) and the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DAPA) would negatively impact American citizens, workers and families, and the U.S. economy as a whole.

The immigrant population in the United States is essential to our success. Immigrants have brought to our country the talents and skills of artists, manufacturers, business owners, and innovators from all over the world. Immigrants helped make us the global leader we are today.

With the shift in demographics, the outcome of the United States v. Texas case is one that will have an effect on more than just the people who are recipients of the DACA+ and DAPA programs. The outcome of this case will either set us back or help keep us on track as the economic global leader that we are. The American economy, the largest and strongest in the world, depends on the American born and the immigrant to create the successes that we take for granted.

This is something we as a nation fail to understand when it comes to immigration.

This is not a Mexican issue. This is not even a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue, and it impacts every aspect of our communities, our infrastructure, and our economic fabric.

Many immigrants who come to the United States share the same values of that of a well-rounded typical American family that works hard and, yes, pays taxes. Per the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, immigrants collectively contribute nearly $12 billion each year to state and local tax coffers, kicking in their billions in the form of income, property, sales or excise taxes. That would be a huge gap to fill. In addition, the Pew Research Center estimates that there were more than 8 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2012, representing roughly 5 percent of the domestic labor force.

With the help of DACA+ and DAPA, immigrants will continue to be able to contribute to our workforce. And our economy would stand as the beneficiary.

Where’s the proof?

Economists, demographers, and educators have all agreed that immigration in general provides an essential contribution to our growing economy. Programs like DACA+ and DAPA, for instance, allow recipients to earn better wages, which in turn could aide in increasing the U.S. gross domestic product cumulatively by $230 billion over the next ten years. This potential for a booming economy could increase the income of all Americans by an estimated $124 billion. Along with this economic growth, the programs will also create an average of 28,814 American jobs per year within the next ten years.

Clearly, there is more than enough to go around. It makes no sense to rip families apart and severely stifle America’s long-term GDP growth at the same time.

Over 6.1 million United States citizens throughout the nation live with one or more family members who will be affected by the outcome of the United States vs. Texas case. With this ruling, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to show the world that we are still a nation that stands for justice, as well as one that knows how to make smart decisions – the kind of decisions only the No.1 economy in the world could make.

Link to the op-ed under Univision