Trump’s decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a moral abomination. As many as 800,000 people, who were brought to the United States as young children and have lived in the country their entire lives, face the prospect of deportation because the Department of Justice claims, among other dubious justifications, that these immigrants have “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
As Paul Krugman writes in his Friday column, this is an outright falsehood, and perhaps the administration’s most vile lie to date.
No one should have to prove their innate value to a country’s economy, but even by this perverse metric most DACA beneficiaries, or Dreamers, have shown themselves to be model citizens. Ninety-one percent are gainfully employed, and their work has benefited almost every major U.S. company, according to one study.
“They are, according to all available data, an exemplary segment of our population: hard-working young people, many seeking to improve themselves through higher education,” Krugman writes. “They’re committed to the values of their home—because America is their home.”
Any argument to the contrary amounts to “junk economics.” The United States is currently facing a dual threat triggered by declining fertility: As its population grows older, fewer workers are available to pay the kind of taxes needed to keep Social Security and Medicare solvent. This also means smaller returns for private investment, putting the country at risk of a prolonged recession. Krugman explains:
It’s not an accident that Japan, which has low fertility and is deeply hostile to immigration, began experiencing persistent deflation and stagnation a decade before the rest of the world. Destroying DACA makes America more like Japan. Why would we want to do that?
“The truth is that letting the Dreamers work legally helps the U.S. economy,” he argues. “Pushing them out or into the shadows is bad for everyone except racists.”
But then, that’s the whole point.
Read Paul Krugman’s column at the New York Times.