Now that President Trump has decided to end DACA and give Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution, what's really true about the 800,000 DACA recipients?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made this claim less than 90 seconds into his announcement that DACA would end.
"It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs," said Sessions.
"It's inaccurate to think of the economy as being a zero-sum game where the more work that I have means the less work that you have," said DU law professor Cesar Garcia Hernandez, in an interview with 9NEWS.
That defense by Garcia Hernandez appears to have support from two recent studies on the topic of immigrants and American citizen jobs.
One study, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, found that new immigrants may take jobs from previous immigrants. It also found that American-born teenagers may work fewer hours as a result, but not have fewer job opportunities. See more here, from The New York Times.
What happens in six months if Congress fails to act? Will ICE suddenly deport the estimated 800,000 DACA recipients?
"I don't think that there is a realistic fear that ICE is just going to take that database of 800,000 individuals that have received DACA and plug and play it into an enforcement database," said Garcia Hernandez. "It's fantasy to think that they're just going to uproot themselves all of a sudden and move to some other part of the world, where many of them, because they were brought here as children, have never even called it home. So, most of them will continue to be here, but they will continue to be here forced into the margins of the economy."
For those wondering how DACA recipients have legal documentation to work, it's part of the process when they apply for a two-year deportation deferment after the age of 16.
"When they apply for DACA, they also apply for work authorization. When they are approved for those, then they are able to apply for any job that they are interested and qualified for, and the hiring process looks exactly the same as it does as a United States citizen who just became a citizen because they were born here," said Garcia Hernandez.
According to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy earlier this year, DACA enrollees contribute an estimated $1.6 billion a year in state and local taxes.
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