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Texas stands to lose $6 billion annually if DACA ends

28 Jul

Amid calls from attorneys general to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, new analysis shows that the Lone Star state stands to lose about $6 billion annually should DACA disappear.

The DACA program grants temporary legal status and a work permit to certain undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country at a young age.  More than 787,000 immigrants had received DACA status through March, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services statistics.

The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, recently performed an analysis on the cost of losing a portion of the U.S. workforce authorized through DACA. It found that U.S. GDP would decline by $460.3 billion over the next decade should all DACA authorized workers be removed.

Oscar Hernandez, Houston organizer for United We Dream, says calls to end DACA are rooted in discrimination and racism.

“It’s a big misjudgment of character,” he said.

DACA recipients fill professional roles in Texas and across the nation, says Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, adding that many work as engineers and college professors.

In a June letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Paxton argues that the DACA program grants legal reprieve and work permits for undocumented individuals without congressional approval.