Over the weekend, President Donald Trump announced he is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, however experts don’t expect it to have a resounding effect on the economy.
Trump announced DACA will end in six months, leaving nearly 800,000 immigrants without work permits. However, experts do not expect this to have a significant impact as it makes up only a small amount of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.
“The announcement by the White House that it will phase out the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides temporary work permits for 800,000 children of illegal immigrants, the so-called Dreamers, will have only a limited impact on the broader economy,” stated a new Economics Update from Capital Economics.
The report explained 1.1 million immigrants qualify for DACA, data from the Pew Research Center showed, and as of March, 790,000 DACA applications had been approved.
But just how much of an impact this new decision will have will depend on Congress’ ability to pass a new law for the Dreamers in the next six months.
“The impact on the economy depends on whether Congress can agree on a replacement program to provide work permits, or even the possibility of citizenship, and, if not, whether the Dreamers will be deported or allowed to return to the underground economy,” the Capital Economics report stated.
“Since the DACA program collected personal data on applicants it would, in theory, be possible to deport them,” it continued. “But the chances of this actually happening are very low, with the Trump administration noting that removing Dreamers would not be a priority.”
Trump explained if Congress is unable to pass legislation for the Dreamers, then he will revisit the issue again in six months.
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
Trump’s proposal alone may not mean much for the U.S. economy and affects less than 10% of the illegal immigrant population, however Congress’ next move could be crucial.
If members of Congress come together to pass legislation over the next few months, that could create a path to citizenship for nearly 1 million immigrants. Back in May, HousingWire reported that once immigrants become citizens, the homeownership rate nearly doubles to 69.7%.
The National Association of Home Builders explained the rise in homeownership rate isn’t the only reason the housing industry needs Congress to focus on immigration reform.
“President Trump's call to Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to protect the Dreamers underscores the urgent need for lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald said. “Given the chronic shortage of residential construction workers, there has never been a more critical time for Congress to enact effective reforms that would help revitalize the economy and boost the housing sector.”
Several members of Congress, including Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., showed their support for Dreamers, assuring them they would fight to pass legislation for DACA immigrants.