Durbin Calls On Trump To Defend DACA Program

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Trump Administration to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows talented young immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to go to school and work without threat of deportation. The future of the program is uncertain after Texas and nine other states threatened to sue if President Trump does not start phasing out the program by September 5. Durbin was joined by John Rowe, Co-Chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and local DACA recipients at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s space at tech incubator 1871. 

“Over the past five years, the DACA program has given thousands of young people a chance to come out of the shadows and contribute more fully to the only country they’ve ever called home. We’ve witnessed them graduate college, start businesses, and give back to their communities in a myriad of ways,” Durbin said. “But the most recent threat to the DACA program has left hundreds of thousands of Dreamers anxious and concerned about the future.  I urge President Trump to use all legal options to defend the DACA program so these young people can continue contributing to the country they love.” 

The DACA program, which marked its five-year anniversary this week, has allowed nearly 800,000 young immigrants – including 42,000 from Illinois – to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to their country.  

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that the 1.3 million young people enrolled in or eligible for DACA pay $2 billion each year in state and local taxes.  If DACA is terminated, the Center for American Progress estimated that cumulative U.S. GDP would be reduced by $433 billion over 10 years, and Illinois alone would experience a $2.2 billion annual GDP loss. 

Senator Durbin has been the leading voice in Congress in the fight to protect young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. In April 2010, he was the first member of Congress to call for the establishment of DACA. Durbin has shared the stories of nearly 100 Dreamers on the Senate floor since he introduced the original Dream Act 16 years ago.