Young People Brought to the U.S. as Children
and Immigrants Who Came to the U.S. as a Result of Civil War
Two groups of immigrants who might face deportation were granted extended stays in the U.S. First are young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children. President Obama gave them an opportunity to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status. The time extension is two years. The Trump administration cancellled the program last September. It left it up to Congress to produce a solution for the young immigrants before their permits expired. Groups on both sides of the issue have turned to the courts with New York and California federal judges deciding in favor, a Washington case in favor of DACA currently in court, and 9 states led by Texas attempting to end DACA for good.1
A recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that one bill, the DREAM Act of 2017, would increase the federal deficit by almost $26 billion over a decade. The bill would make an estimated 2 million potential beneficiaries and relatives they could eventually sponsor for residence eligible for education and other benefits.2 That amounts to an average of $13,000 a person in benefits, which is approximately equivalent to a year of K-12 education, a quite modest investment given that the U.S. gains an additional person in the labor force who will add to the growth of American business and will pay state and federal taxes as well as Medicare and Social Security for a lifetime. Later topics on the cost deportation and the lifelong cost of mental health care and services for adults who have suffered brain impairment due to the toxic stress they experienced in childhood due to separation from their parents will show that taxpayers would have to pay far more for deportation of unauthorized immigrants than the much more limited cost of services immigrants would need had they been allowed to become permanent residents and citizens.
A second category of immigrants with extended stays who are at risk for deportation are the Liberian immigrants who came to the U.S. because of Civil War. They were originally in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status and received Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) extensions since 2007 from both Democratic and Republican Presidents. Last March, President Trump extended the Deferred Enforced Departure date for Liberians to March 31, 2019. About 4,000 Liberians in Minnesota will receive the DED extension. They are hoping that the U.S. Senate and House will pass legislation that gives them permanent residence and a path to citizenship.
Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island Speaks on Liberian Immigrants
Senator Jack Reed gave an excellent overview of the history of the Liberian Immigration, recommended that President Trump extend DED, and asked the Senate to approve the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act.3
A major ICE intrusion in Brooklyn Park to remove Latino and Liberian immigrants would result in tax losses for the city, county, and state as well as economic losses for businesses.
1. Yee, Vivian. "Can DACA Survive Its Latest Legal Attack in Texas." New York Times, August 9, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/us/daca-texas-courts-immigration.html
2. Congressional Budget Office. S. 1615, Dream Act of 2017. Cost Estimate Summary, December 15, 2017. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53410.
3. Reed Discusses Immigration Status for Liberians on the Senate Floor.