Activists, Immigration Officials Push for DACA Legislation

November 16, 2017. This article discusses the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Trump administration, which effects over 40,000 young individuals. The administration announced that October 5, 2017 would be the cutoff deadline for renewal applications and that new applications would no longer be accepted. Under DACA, young individuals had work authorization and protection from deportation. On November 1, there was a forum discussion hosted by City & State New York at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, that FPI’s director of immigration research, David Dyssegaard Kallick, was included in. The forum discussed the challenges that Dreamers faced with the short deadline, including financial difficulties raising money for the fees in such a short time. The participants discussed the contributions of immigrants and Dreamers to the economy such as revenue from taxes and business ownership, as well as the push for a solution that includes a pathway to citizenship.

The current solutions offered for Dreamers affected by the soon to be dropped the program are short-term. Lawmakers are racing to enact legislation that includes a path to citizenship before the March 5 deadline, when Dreamers will lose work permits and become susceptible to deportation.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute and author of numerous studies on the economic effects of immigration, emphasized the importance of immigrant business owners in city neighborhoods.

Outside of the sheer numbers—48 percent of business owners in the city are first-generation immigrants and 46 percent of the workforce is made up of immigrants—immigrants are twice as likely to own a Main Street business. He said these businesses are the kind that revitalize neighborhoods: “the grocery stores, the retail shops, the dry cleaners—the things that make a neighborhood feel like it has some character.”

Here is the link to the Times Ledger.