The attorneys general of 10 conservative states have told President Trump that they will sue the federal government to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program if he doesn't do so himself by Sept. 5, and Trump is widely rumored to be looking to comply with their demand on Friday, the start of a three-day Labor Day weekend.
Opposition to ending DACA — which has granted temporary work and residency status to roughly 780,000 DREAMers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 — flared up Thursday from several sides, including a bipartisan group of mayors from across the U.S. and about 300 business leaders, from the CEOs of Airbnb and Apple to the heads of Visa and ZED Digital, plus the chief executives of GM, GE, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Google, Netflix, Marriott, and other large businesses. In an open letter, they made an economic case for allowing the DREAMers to stay:
All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes. ... [Without them] our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage. [Leaders of American Industry letter]
Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, makes the economic case, too, but he adds that "ending the program would harm trust more than it would harm the American economy." He explains in a New York Post op-ed late Thursday: "Young, DACA-eligible unlawful immigrants who were brought here as children and grew up here trusted the government with their personal information in exchange for the reprieve from deportation and a work permit. They think of themselves as Americans and want to believe the protection they were given won't suddenly be yanked away." Nowrasteh also notes that ending DACA is really unpopular, even among Republicans.
On Thursday night, Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post spoke with CBS News about the politics of Trump's presumed scrapping of DACA, and how Congress may just step up if or when he does. You can watch below. Peter Weber