September 05, 2017

Statement of ABA President Hilarie Bass Re: The end of the DACA program

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2017 – In light of the announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ended in six months, the American Bar Association urges Congress to act quickly to pass legislation that provides a fair, orderly and safe way ahead for the young people affected by this change. Today’s announced suspension of the DACA program without a ready legislative solution threatens the future of thousands of deserving people to pursue their dreams, and places them in danger of deportation. It also threatens our country’s access to a wealth of human potential. 

The ABA believes immigration reform should include a path to lawful permanent residency or U.S. citizenship for undocumented persons who entered the United States as minors and have developed significant ties to the United States while displaying good moral character and passing security screening.

The more than 800,000 people who entered the DACA program, frequently referred to as Dreamers, have contributed to our country. An open letter signed by hundreds of the nation’s top business leaders pointed out that Dreamers contribute $460.3 billion to the national gross domestic product and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.

In addition to the economic reasons, the humanitarian motivation for the DACA program is compelling. Dreamers came to this country as children and have embraced this country as their own. To send them back to a foreign land that many do not even remember would be inconsistent with the values on which America was founded.

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