Maryland Democrats voice opposition against deporting Dreamers in collegeBy TMN Interns   
October 19, 2017
Demonstrators in New York on Sept. 9 protest the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program. (Rhododendrites/Creative Commons)

By Andres Del Aguila

WASHINGTON – Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Thursday that it would be devastating for the U.S. economy if President Donald Trump deported Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients who are pursuing a college degree.

“These individuals have been trained here in the United States,” Cardin said during a phone conference. “They are ready to give back to our economy, to produce a stronger economy.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

Cardin said Congress needs to “take immediate action” and pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. He said Trump’s decision to rescind DACA is inconsistent with American values.

Trump, however, tweeted in September that he will “revisit the issue” if Congress fails to act.

The DACA program – enacted in 2012 via an executive order by then-President Barack Obama – temporarily shielded from deportation 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children or teens. Now, their legal status is in limbo.

Van Hollen warned that deporting DACA recipients would negatively impact the economy.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen D-Md.)

“It would be a huge waste of reductive investments for us take the position that [Dreamers] will have to be deported from the United States of America,” Van Hollen said.

He cited a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, an organization dedicated to promoting progressivism, found that $460 billion would be drained from the GDP over the next decade.

The Center for American Progress also conducted a survey of DACA recipients in August. The organization found that of the DACA recipients in school, over 70 percent are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.

University professors joined the senators during the phone conference, stressing the importance of allowing DACA recipients to complete their college education.

Matt Barretto, political science and Chicano studies professor at UCLA, said Congress needs to protect the “thousands and thousands of DACA recipients who are the best and brightest in our university.”

Congress will strive to protect DACA recipients by finding a “permanent legislative solution” before the program expires, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said in a September statement.

The program is set to expire in March. Congress would need to pass legislation that couples protection for DACA recipients with enhanced border security to increase the likelihood of Trump’s approval.

New York TIMES

The Supreme Court rejected a Trump administration request to hear a case on protections for “Dreamers,” which lower courts are considering now

Monday, February 26, 2018 9:56 AM EST