800,000

“Ultimately, this is about basic decency.  This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated.  It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.”

– President Barack Obama, September 5, 2017

Yesterday, President Trump’s administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA. This decision is cruel, heartless and un-American.

What will this mean for those impacted and for our nation and the state of Texas? Here are some facts:

  •     The number of young men and women in jeopardy of being deported: 800,000

  •     The number of Texans in jeopardy of being deported: 124,000

  •     Texas annual GDP that could be lost: $6.3 billion

  •     Reduction in the nation’s workforce: 685,000 workers

  •     United States’ GDP lost during next 10 years: $460.3 billion

Another important fact: the average age of DACA recipients when brought to this country is 6.5 years old.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of the 800,000 young men or women (66 percent of DACA recipients are women).

Imagine being a child brought to this country at two years old. You were taught English in neighborhood public schools and it may be the only language you know. You graduated high school and received a college degree after years of hard work, and because of DACA, you have been able to work and build a successful career. You pay taxes, you own a home, you volunteer and you help your neighbors.

Now imagine all of that gone.

Your hope for future citizenship in the only country you’ve ever known has been replaced with fear of deportation and being sent back to a country that is foreign to you. You have no family there, you have no friends there. Your career is gone. Your house is gone. You are separated from everyone and everything you know.

This is the new reality many men and women could face, all because the Trump Administration decided to bow down to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and others who threatened to sue the federal government if DACA was not repealed by September 5th. Paxton and his allies got their wish and now thousands of our neighbors will be punished.

Where do we go from here? Congress needs to act quickly and do the right thing. They have the opportunity to reverse this wrong and show these young people, brought here through no fault of their own, that America still remains a land of opportunity.

Chris

P.S. If you’d like to discuss DACA and other important issues impacting our community, please join me at a Town Hall on Saturday, September 16th from 1:00 to 2:30 PM at the Arlington Municipal Airport, 5000 S. Collins, ArlingtonClick here to RSVP.

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