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Consistent With Our Values, Congress Should Protect Young Undocumented Immigrants

Since announcing that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Administration has taken contradictory positions: It has claimed without evidence that DACA’s reprieve from deportation for young undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children harms the job prospects of native born Americans, but it also has pressed Congress to enact a DACA-like program to protect these immigrants.

As our new analysis by Chad Stone shows, claims that DACA hurts the economy and native-born workers are essentially a fabrication that flies in the face of the best evidence. The misleading statements about DACA’s effects on other workers and the economy appear to be an attempt to appeal to nativist sentiment, and to foment anger and mistrust of immigrants in general and of those granted DACA status in particular.

Congress should pay no heed to these divisive calls. Instead, it should pursue the cause of protecting these young immigrants — a cause that’s consistent with the best of our values and that will allow the nation to benefit from these young people’s talents.

Policymakers ultimately need to enact comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the important contributions of immigrants to both their communities and the broader economy, and that rejects the folly and inhumanity of deporting millions of people or forcing them to remain in the shadows, often living in fear.