The Supreme Court has decided that the injunction blocking President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs will remain in place. This ruling prevents the President's immigration programs from moving forward, which would have allowed millions of undocumented immigrants "temporary relief from deportation" and the ability apply for work authorization while they wait.
As a result of this injunction, millions of immigrants throughout this country will continue to wait in limbo for the opportunity to contribute to our communities and economy. Rather than providing these “low enforcement priority” individuals with valid work authorization, which would allow them to come out of the shadows and take on better and more productive jobs, which would in turn immensely benefit our local, state, and national economies, we will continue to waste valuable resources on removing these well-established, productive U.S. residents from our country.
The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that DACA and DAPA would increase the national gross domestic product (GDP) by nearly $60 billion over the next 10 years, payroll tax revenues would increase $22.6 billion in 5 years, and the solvency of the Social Security system would increase by $41 billion over 10 years as workers earn higher wages. In Texas alone, if undocumented immigrants were able to receive work authorization the state’s tax revenue would increase by $338 million.
In Texas, 80% of those eligible for DACA and 78% of those eligible for DAPA have lived in the U.S. for over 10 years; 94% of those eligible for DAPA are employed; and 93% of those 18 years and older, eligible for DACA, have graduated from high school. These are our neighbors, coworkers, and contributing members in our communities. Failing to “temporarily" turn these individuals into productive members of society does not make any sense at all.
While this ruling is a significant setback for undocumented immigrants, it is important to note that it will not impact the original DACA program that was implemented in 2012. Those eligible for DACA under the President's 2012 executive action may continue to seek renewal of their deferred action and work authorization. Furthermore, this ruling does not prevent the next President from continuing the deferred action programs in the future or prevent the next President from pursuing DAPA or an expansion of DACA. Ultimately, it will be up to the next administration (and hopefully Congress) to reform our immigration system and put in place an immigration program that benefits all Americans…documented AND undocumented.