Killing DACA creates skill gaps that could hurt Tech companies

DACA, the “Dreamers” program that protected young immigrants from deportation, is no more. The special program created in 2012 to allow the nearly 800,000 undocumented aliens brought to the US as children to be allowed to work legally is over.

And all hell is breaking loose on Twitter over this. #DACA.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA for short), brought immigrant ambition to life in an era where the American Dream was still alive. But even dreamers don’t always get a free-pass, it turns out according to the new administration.

DACA officially expires on March 5th, 2018 and the end or the program may mean a lot of jobs go unfilled as American skill shortages take place as a result. This might have unforeseen economic consequences.

Immigration is a hotly contested topic, in a country where a Trump tweet can set off a cascade of events, protests and tumultuous opposition both from minority populations and technology companies many of whom depend on these workers. This is a political story that intersects with business, the economy and depicts an America redefining itself or in the midst of an identity crisis.

Dreamers Are Not Real Americans

The truth is, we were all dreamers once, children of a new world. To have qualified as a Dreamer, individuals must have come to the country when they were younger than 16, and continue to meet a series of stringent rules. For all intents and purposes, these people are already “American”, and are the epitome of self-made individuals.

For us working in tech, many of us know DACA recipients and their families it’s emotional to see the very spirit that built America be rejected in this way that results in human suffering at a high cost to the technology sector.

The end of DACA means a rise in a problematic skills-gap that is at odds with the new tightening of immigration policies.

There is no question in my mind that a priority must be to create more jobs and opportunity for every American citizen. On top of this, smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness. — Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

The program will be phased out over a 2-year and “orderly wind-down” of the program.

The rejection of DACA aligns with the America-first policies of the new administration. However unfortunately for tech companies, this might hurt their bottom lines and their relationship with diversity and inclusion as well as lead to potential skill-shortages.

Rescinding the Obama-era policy that allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people to receive renewable work permits and avoid deportation certainly does “abandon” a lot of folk, who were contributing to America’s economy.

Political decisions likes these are also rallying young people for the 2020 elections, giving them a reason to vote.

Has the divide on opinion and policy ever been greater between California and Washington?

If DACA meant hope for three quarters of a million people, the skill-shortages epidemic to come as jobs are automated and new high-skill jobs are created in the decades to come, could haunt us all.

Further Reading | What Employers Need to Know about DACA

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