‘Dreamer’ migrants make US economy stronger
A Senate bill would help America keep its promise to these educated, productive residents.
View related content: Economics
Economics can be used to identify tradeoffs in public policy by enumerating costs and benefits. President Donald Trump’s decision not to allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to continue will create economic costs, if Congress does not act. The U.S. stands to lose hundreds of thousands of productive workers, the value those workers generate, and the taxes those workers pay.
The economic benefits of deporting 690,000 people whose families brought them here illegally when they were children? There are none.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions argues otherwise. In his statement rescinding DACA, Sessions contended that it “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.” This reasoning would earn a failing grade in an undergraduate economics course.
The U.S. economy does not have a fixed number of jobs. Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients — commonly called Dreamers — do hold jobs. They also buy food and clothing, pay for housing, and consume entertainment. Their spending is someone else’s income, supporting employment in their local communities — creating jobs. Their work makes the economic pie bigger. They don’t just take a slice.