ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES BRIEF OPPOSING ONGOING EFFORT TO END DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS PROGRAM
Raoul Emphasizes Importance of DACA for Illinois Dreamers, State Economy
Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, today filed a brief in opposition to the ongoing, misguided effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Raoul and the coalition filed a brief before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, reiterating the critical importance of DACA for states and families across the country who depend on the program. DACA has allowed recipients to live, study and work across the United States free from the fear of being forcibly separated from their families and communities. Since 2012, thousands of young immigrants in Illinois, also known as Dreamers, were granted DACA protections after completing applications and passing a background check.
“DACA reflects our values as a nation and the belief that young people brought to this country for a better life deserve the chance to get ahead. Every day Dreamers make invaluable contributions to our schools, workplaces and communities,” Raoul said. “Rescinding DACA would be doing this country and all of its residents a great disservice.”
The program enables grantees to enroll in colleges and universities, start businesses that help improve the economy, serve in the military, and give back to communities as teachers, medical professionals, engineers and entrepreneurs. These contributions became even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic as DACA recipients served their communities as essential workers and frontline health care professionals.
DACA plays a vital role supporting the economy. For example, DACA recipients and their households are estimated to contribute approximately $9.5 billion in federal, state and local taxes each year. A full rollback of DACA, as pushed by Texas and its allies, is projected to lose an estimated $280 billion in national economic growth over the course of a decade. It would also lead to an estimated loss of $33.1 billion in Social Security contributions and $7.7 billion in critical Medicare contributions for these national programs Americans rely on.
In addition, the spending power of DACA recipients – estimated at $25.3 billion annually —contributes substantially to the overall economic health of the nation. DACA recipients own homes, make mortgage payments, own small businesses and help support the creation of new jobs.
In the amicus brief, Raoul and the coalition argue:
Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.