DACA reversal and the how the U.S. economy will be affected

Crackdown on crime and illegal immigration

One of the promises of President Donald Trump was to crack down on crime and illegal immigration. He assured the United States “to restore law and order.” Trump has kept his promise by reversing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Some Americans may not understand what exactly this means.

What is DACA?

DACA will affect 800,000 young immigrants also known as DREAMers. The program, created by the Obama administration, offered temporary protection from deportation and a two-year permit to work legally in the U.S. The Dream ACT did not provide citizenship; however, it did make immigrants feel safer. Though the majority of immigrants that could be affected are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and South Korea. There is also an African percentage of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria and the Dominican Republican immigrants.

Growth of federal prison population

According to a Dow Jones Newswire (2017) by Beth Reinhard, the federal prison population is expected to grow by 4,171 next year to a total of 191,493 as the Trump administration encourages prosecutions of illegal immigrants and drug offenders. Reinhard has covered national politics at the Wall Street Journal and was the lead political correspondent during the 2012 presidential campaign. 

The costly process would include deportations, detention and incarcerations that would drain the United States’ federal resources. The United States already spends at least $80 billion annually to combat crime.

Immigrants affected in total: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (June 2016)

Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Poland, Pakistan, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Argentina, Phillipines, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, South Korea.

 Black immigrants do exist

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration has found that an estimated 3.7 million Black immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia residing in the U.S. that make-up 10 percent of the nation’s Black population.

BAJI,  is an education, and advocacy group made-up of African-Americans and Black immigrants that fight for injustices involving African immigrants. Since 2006, the organization provides the African American community with a progressive analysis and framework on immigration that links the interests of African Americans with those of immigrants of color. Michael Eric Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, and a contributing editor of The New Republic, and of ESPN’s The Undefeated website. His views are against reversing DACA due to the 12,000 DACA recipients that would be affected in African-centered areas. 


Where Black immigrants reside in the U.S.

Some states like New York (30%) and Florida (20%) have a high percentage of residents that are black immigrants, according to BAJI. BAJI works in awareness and has even created a detainee support toolkit collaborated on a series of “Know Your Rights” videos created by Immigrant Defense Project on how to prepare for an encounter with ICE. DACA is not just about immigration; DACA is about profit

Current numbers of incarceration

While making up only 13% (raw number) of the national population, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population. Though African Americans and Hispanics make-up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprise 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (2016), at least 31 states provided less state funding per student in the 2014 school year than the cost per detainee. Thus, while the United States of America under-cuts education, it absolutely encourages the growth of criminals and deportations.

Though data clearly shows that violent and property crime in the U.S. has fallen significantly over the past quarter century, it has been estimated that ending DACA and immediately deporting those enrolled in the program would cost the federal government $60 billion (Pew Research Center). USA Today reported that economists have even found that it would reduce economic growth by $280 billion over the next 10 years. Perhaps the Trump administration has an economic purpose behind getting tough on immigration.



The average cost is about $180 a day to detain an individual, with the average length of detention at approximately 30 days, according to the government’s latest data. Based on that government data, an average immigration detention cost $5,400 and ICE spends an average of $10,854 per deportee during the fiscal year that ended in September.

Make America Great through policy/law and order

Trump’s “100-Day Plan To Make America Great Again,” offered promises to work with Congress to build a southern border wall and establish two- and five-year mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal re-entry into the U.S. HR 3004, known as “Kate’s Law,” passed largely along party lines 257-167 on June 29, 2017.

A five-year minimum for the offense of illegal re-entry would expand the federal prison population by 65,000 prisoners, which would require the government to build more than 20 prisons, according to a 2015 American Bar Association letter to Congress.

In 2015, the bulk of immigrants arrests came from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, India, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil and China. Yet, there has been a drastic decline on the arrest of immigrants over a twenty-year bracket.

The arrests of immigrants were: 1,394,554 in 1995; 1,814,729 in 2000; and 462,388 in 2015. Those numbers show that since DACA (2012), which was announced during the Obama administration, arrests in immigration have declined. Due to the reversal of DREAM, all of that may change for 2018.

Growth in private prison stocks since Trump

Two of the biggest private prison operators, CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corp. of America, and Geo Group have doubled (in stocks) since Trump has taken office. GeoGroup (GEO) has risen to 98% in stock and is up 140%. GeoGroup also happens to be the biggest federal ICE vendor, with $900 million in contracts since 2013. These two private prison operators were big donators/supporters of the Trump administration.

Nick Swartsell with City Beat just reported last week that the city of Cincinnati’s pension fund holdings includes more than $2.5 million in stocks for private prison companies. It has been reported that the U.S. keeps a daily average of 41,000 undocumented immigrants in detention. This number has doubled in just a decade.  According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, half the country’s criminal prosecutions come from immigration violations. Ironically against popular belief, more than half of immigrants arrested do not have criminal records. This may explain the push for immigration and penal visibility and growth in our society. From 1990, the United States has grown from 3.5 million immigrants to 11.1 in 2014 (Pew Research Center).


What’s next with DACA?


The future of DACA lies in the hands of Congress and Trump has given them six months to figure out a solution.  The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the capacity to remove about 400,000 people a year, according to McClatchy DC. Aaron Chatterji, a professor at Duke University‘s business school sympathizes with DACA dreamers and fear complications for business employees and the fate of immigrants. 

“Many congressional Republicans who will be their allies on corporate tax reform are sympathetic” to the CEOs’ positions on DACA, said Aaron Chatterji, a professor at Duke University’s business school who studies CEO activism on political and social issues. “They’re in good company, so I don’t think coming out strongly on this will complicate those efforts,” he said.

The America Action Forum feels that deporting millions of people in year-long missions could be costly, detrimental to the economy and counter-productive. It is shown that a few of the policies promoted by the Trump administration have an economical ring to the oppression and bullying of certain groups.

Actions against DACA decision

The University of California has sued the Trump administration for its decision to reverse the DACA policy.  UC lawyers allege that the rights of the nation’s largest college system were violated by President Donald Trump.

Information on immigration:

Angela Antonia Torregoz, CUNY School of Law also currently promotes a free guide for immigrants. Hundreds of business executives, including Dallas-based AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, signed a letter that called for DACA’s preservation because of he felt “DREAMers are vital to the future of our companies and economy.” The economy will be affected greatly by the removal of DACA. This will not only affect the workers but the companies of America.


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