Texas economists say if the question were only over economic impact, the debate over the future of hte Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would end right now, with all 120,000 of the 'Dreamers' currently living in Texas not only allowed, but encouraged, to remain, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Economist Dr. Ray Perryman says, at a time when the state's economy is growing and the number one complaint expanding businesses have is an inability to find skilled workers, the DACA recipients now living in Texas are exactly what the state needs.
"We need these workers in our work force today," Perryman said. "They contribute a great deal to our gross domestic product, they create a great deal to address our needs, and, with the Baby Boomers aging, we are entering a point where we will have more jobs open than at any time in history."
Because one of the requirements for DACA is that youngsters who came to the U.S. with their illegal immigrant parents had to not only attend school, but do well, Perryman says Dreamers are among the most educated young people in the state's work force, exactly what employers are looking for.
"These are largely skilled workers, educated workers, and the sort of people we need to have contribute to our economy," Perryman said. "They are also people who have grown up in American culture and American schools, and they have adopted this country as their own."
Despite the fact that President Trump is being blamed for 'racism' and 'immigrant hating,' the President's call for Congress to intervene to formalize DACA is actually more beneficial to the Dreamers than President Obama's actions. Obama only approved an executive order, which had to be renewed every two years, and includes no sense of permanence or 'path to citizenship' for DACA recipients. Congressional action could reverse that.
Perryman says if the Dreamers should end up being deported, Texas would take a huge hit to its economy.
He also points out that with the skills and education the Dreamers received in the United States, they will be successful, growing businesses, doing research, and coming up with medical, technical and scientific breakthroughs. The question, he says, is whether those breakthroughs, and the economic success that stems from them, will take place in the U.S., or elsewhere.