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"Dream Act" Myth Buster

How the placement of DACA has changed the lives of all Americans for the better.

Photo by Juan Ramos on Unsplash

It's likely that you've heard about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the president's recent decision regarding the program. Roughly 56% of Americans support Dreamers and undocumented immigrants, leaving the other half of citizens either undecided or against the program. Though it is unclear to anyone with basic human decency or compassion as to why someone would oppose DACA, here are some myths that anti-Dreamers believe and what the actual facts are.

Myth #1: DACA Recipients Cost Taxpayers Money

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Dreamers actually pay about $2 billion in state and local taxes. Hiding in fear of deportation doesn't allow immigrants to give back to our country the way they want to. Because of DACA, many Dreamers have already to started to contribute to our economy—5% of recipients started their own small businesses, 16% bought their first homes and 50% opened their first bank account. In the next decade, Dreamers are slated to add $280 billion to $433 billion to the national GDP and $24.3 billion to Social Security. And though some immigrants and many citizens may benefit from programs such as Obamacare and Medicaid, DACA recipients aren't eligible for either. However, the termination of DACA would actually cost a lot of money: over $62 billion to employers, the federal government and to deport—not to mention the irreparable damage to the lives of children who have only ever known the United States as their home.

Myth #2: DACA Recipients Are Going to College for Free

DACA students are actually not eligible for federal financial aid but Dreamers get a chance to apply for college, something many of them didn't consider a possibility in the past. Whether or not Dreamers get some of their high education paid for really depends on the state and the policies that different private and public universities have for these students. 

Dreamers are trying to fulfill their lives as Americans just like the rest of us. No human being should be denied an education because of their immigration status.

Myth #3: DACA Recipients Take the Jobs of American citizens

According to the Federal Reserve, there's actually a shortage of qualified workers in the United States. Six million jobs remain unfilled despite DACA recipient employment. In fact, experts say removing Dreamers from the workforce would worsen the shortage of workers. If you somehow think you didn't get a job because a DACA recipient, you were probably lied to or maybe the other candidate was more qualified that position. 

Conclusion

Regardless of political beliefs, it's time to face facts; DACA is beneficial for everyone. So if you happen to be a Republican who thinks that their own life is more important than that of over 800,000 other people or a Libertarian who feels that DACA is a breach of government power, the positive impact that the program has already had and the disastrous effects of its removal should be enough for you to reconsider what and who you stand for.

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"Dream Act" Myth Buster
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