STATEMENT: Ending DACA will devastate families, communities, and economies

Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: 402-438-8853
Mobile: 402-840-7289
jsheldon@neappleseed.org

 

Ending DACA will have devastating impact on Nebraska families, communities and economy

Removing opportunity for hardworking young people only does harm to our state, nation

 

LINCOLN – Today, the White House announced the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a decision that will have devastating impacts for Nebraska’s communities, families, and economy.

“Today’s executive order is an egregious decision that will do irreparable harm to Nebraska families and communities,” Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould said. “DACA is an extremely successful initiative that has given a measure of stability and protection to Nebraska youth who grew up in our communities and have deep family, social, and economic ties to our state and country. It’s allowed smart, talented, and hardworking young Nebraskans to attend school, go to work, and put their skills and talents to use in the only place they know as home.

“DACA has strong and widespread support from Nebraska business, city, faith, education, law enforcement, health, and community organizations and leaders, all of whom recognize and appreciate the valuable contributions of DACA recipients and their families.”

A young Nebraska DACA recipient, who did not wish to use his name in light of this new threat, but who has lived in the state for 25 years, lamented the decision to end DACA because it devalues the contributions DREAMers make to Nebraska communities.

“I’ve spent so many years doing community service, volunteering, and building up to who I am today. Now, no matter what I’ve done and the good I’ve done in my community, it seems like none of that will matter,” he said. “I want to continue making a difference in my community, and now I’m worried all people will see is a negative – and everything I’ve worked for will be erased.”

Aside from the enormous social cost of separating Nebraska families, ending DACA has severe implications for our state economy. The Center for American Progress estimates Nebraska would lose $144 million each year in economic output if DACA were ended, as part of a national GDP loss of $433 billion over the next 10 years.

Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser said it now becomes imperative for Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017, which would allow those covered by DACA and other similarly situated to have a way to apply for immigration status and, eventually, be able to earn U.S. citizenship.

“It is now vitally important that Congress show its commitment to immigrant youth and their families by swiftly passing the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that would protect family unity and ensure DREAMers can continue to be valuable parts of our communities,” Tromanhauser said. “We also hope Congress comes together to adopt common-sense immigration laws that reflect our values and keep DACA youth and their families together.”

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