As Americans, we should all be outraged by the blatant politicization of Dreamers. It’s bad for the 800,000 individuals impacted by this change, their families, and our country.
Let’s start with the 800,000 individuals. As the CEO of a company that serves immigrants, I have the honor of interacting with the communities impacted by DACA everyday. American immigrants are heroes — they make huge sacrifices in order to provide a better life for their loved ones back home. You can see just a few of their amazing stories here. Subsequently, the pressure that children of immigrants feel to justify their parents’ sacrifice of leaving everything they know and love behind for a better opportunity is something that many Americans will never understand.
America should be supporting these dreamers, not shunning them.
Aside from the human implications, reversing DACA also has a negative impact on America. The open letter from FWD.us noted the US economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.
The reality is that attracting and welcoming immigrants has always been and will continue to be one of America’s largest competitive advantages. We’re a nation largely built by immigrants. Immigrants are not taking jobs — they’re creating them, paying taxes, and helping to generate a bigger economic ‘pie’ for everyone. Actions like the DACA reversal result in both immigrants leaving the US as well as new immigrants seriously considering other countries before ours — resulting in fewer jobs, slower economic growth, and a declining America.
We owe it to our country to give Dreamers a break. Let’s improve the experiences of individuals like Lazaro Carrion, which I’ve previously shared. His journey was arduous — much of his life was spent under the specter of deportation after being brought to America by his parents as an undocumented child. He later earned a full ride scholarship to a university in Washington state. After graduation, he voluntarily left America and returned to Mexico for four years to gain proper immigration status in the US. He finally earned his citizenship a year ago and is now a marketing manager at Remitly. While this is an uplifting ending, the fact that Lazaro had to go through these ordeals, including returning to Mexico, was unnecessary and got in the way of his life goals and contributions to our economy.
Smart policies, encouragement, and opportunities for immigrants in the U.S. will help grow America’s economy and global competitiveness — anything else would stall or reverse the progress we’ve made as a nation.