A group of 42 United States Senators have sent President Donald Trump a letter asking him to protect the DACA program.
DACA is short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and allows undocumented youth, who were brought to the United States as children, to legally work and are a low priority for deportation.
“We have already invested in them by educating them in American schools. It makes no sense to squander their talents by deporting them in to countries they barely remember,” the letter states.
The Senators sent the letter in response to a group of ten attorneys general who threatened to sue the Trump administration if the president does not end the DACA program by September 5th. The letter attacks the very existence of the lawsuit threat.
“Ironically, these states never sued President Barack Obama over the DACA program. If this threat is successful, it would undermine your ability to set immigration policy for your administration and put hundreds of thousands of talented young people at risk of imminent deportation,” the letter states.
The senators wrote that just about 790,000 immigrants have come out of the shadows and received DACA. They cited a study by the conservative CATO Institute to support their claim for DACA protection. In the study the institute found that deporting DACA recipients would cost over $60 billion and would result in a $280 billion reduction in the economic growth over the next decade.
The Trump administration has sent mixed signals regarding DACA. Trump has been quoted in the past saying that DACA recipients can “rest easy” because the federal government is only after criminals. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been quoted on the contrary, “We can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they’re not going to be deported.”
Read the full letter.