The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides work authorization and affirmative protection from deportation for nearly 800,000 Dreamers, including almost 6,000 Pennsylvania residents who have met rigorous criteria, including passing a government background check is under imminent threat.
At the end of June, two developments – most notably a letter from 10 Republican Attorneys General
threatening to sue the President if he doesn’t end DACA by September 5th – have made clear that
Dreamers are under imminent threat, which would put the nearly 800,000 Dreamers whom the
program allows to work and live legally in the U.S. at immediate risk of being stripped of their work
authorization and subject to deportation. Within the next 60 days, DACA could be gone, putting 800,000
at risk of immediate deportation, despite President Trump’s repeated statements that he would not harm Dreamers.
Click here to join LAMPa and ELCA Advocacy in signing a letter (text found below) in support of Dreamers.
Click here to see state-by-state fact sheets on DACA.
● Since taking office, President Trump has kept in place the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides work authorization and affirmative protection from
deportation for nearly 800,000 Dreamers who have met rigorous criteria, including passing a
government background check. The President has also repeatedly said he does not wish to do
harm to Dreamers.
● However, at the end of June, 10 Republican State Attorneys Generals and the Governor of Idaho
– led by Texas AG Ken Paxton – signed a letter to the Administration threatening to sue President
Trump if he did not eliminate the DACA program by September 5th. This directly undermines
President Trump’s promise, and goes against the will of the Republican voters these AGs
represent, as recent polling shows that 8 in 10 Republicans support President Trump’s decision to
keep this program in place.
● DACA was initiated in 2012. It has unlocked economic opportunities for the nearly 800,000
beneficiaries who have come forward, passed background checks, and have been granted
permission to live and work legally in America. Most have flourished. Many were able to fulfill
their dreams of attending and completing college. Those not in school are working legally and
paying taxes, providing for their families, opening bank accounts, and even buying homes.
DACA works; killing it doesn’t
● DACA recipients are upstanding members of our communities who came to this country as
children. Everyone in the program has passed an extensive background check, paid a fee, and is a
student or servicemember, or has a job.
● Removing 800,000 people from the workforce will cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade.
It will cost employers $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs. Contributions to Medicare and
Social Security will be cut by $24.6 billion over a decade. Some 6% of DACA recipients have
launched businesses that employ American citizens. Almost 55 percent of DACA recipients have
purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten have purchased their first home.
● DACA enjoys the support of employers, universities, educators, community leaders, and elected
officials from both parties. Even President Trump, when asked about those with DACA, has said
“They shouldn’t be very worried. I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”
● DACA recipients have undergone extensive background checks and given the Department of
Homeland Security extensive information about their families. Killing DACA will not only
expose young people to economic hardship and dashed futures, but expose their entire families to
the threat of deportation.
Upholding DACA is a Test of Our Shared American Values
● Welcoming immigrants and refugees is a defining feature of who we are as Americans, and we
are a stronger and more prosperous nation because of it. Immigrants start companies, serve in our
military, put food on our table, build homes and skyscrapers, care for children and the elderly,
advance our technology, and enrich the arts and culture. Immigrants are strong, resilient people
who strengthen our nation.
Text of Sign-On Letter:
We, the undersigned governors, mayors, state legislators, local elected officials, businesses,
law enforcement professionals, and faith and civic leaders are united in declaring that we are
with Dreamers and DACA recipients. We recognize their enormous role in our communities
and families and their contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a
Since June 2012, nearly 800,000 of these young people who came to the United States as
children have come forward, passed background checks, and received permission to live
and work in America. With DACA, they have advanced their education, started small
businesses, and more fully established themselves as integral members of our society.
Ending DACA means all of these young people would be at risk of deportation and
separation from their families and our communities; this would be senselessly cruel.
Ending DACA and removing hundreds of thousands of young men and women from our
workforce also would cost the country an estimated $460.3 billion in lost Gross Domestic
Product over a decade and tens of billions more in lost contributions to Medicare and Social
Security, and force businesses to incur $3.4 billion in turnover costs.
In late June, attorneys general from ten states threatened to sue the Trump Administration if
it does not end DACA; twice that number wrote to encourage the administration to maintain
and defend the initiative. We urge President Trump to sustain his commitment and preserve
DACA. We also encourage President Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress
to enact legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for
Dreamers. The recently introduced stand-alone Dream Act of 2017 would do that and we
As the leaders of communities across the country—individuals and institutions that have
seen these young people grow up in our communities—we recognize how they have
enriched and strengthened our cities, states, schools, businesses, congregations, and
families. We believe it is a moral imperative that the administration and the country know we
are with them. We also join together to send our assurances to Dreamers: we see you, we
value you, and we are ready to defend you.