DACA’s economic hit to Florida looms large, proponents say

dreamers DACA

The end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could come as soon as March, and as that deadline looms, proponents of the Obama-era program say its demise could mean a $1.5 billion blow to Florida’s economy.

If Congress does not pass a replacement for DACA by March — a top priority for Democrats before the year’s end — the Trump administration will begin to wither away protections that shield some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from immediate deportation, including an estimated 372,000 in Florida.

According to the left-leaning Center for American Progress, 87 percent of DACA recipients in the state are in the workforce. If the program goes away, so would their legal work permits and the tax dollars they contribute to government coffers.

Undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA contribute state and local taxes, and are not eligible for most public benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid or social security retirement benefits.

As some in Congress laud the end of DACA, which they deem important to send a clear message that immigration laws should be enforced, those who want to codify legal protections for young adults who came to the U.S. illegally as children warn that losing the so-called “DREAMers” would negatively impact the economy.

Earlier this month, proponents of DACA reached out to members of the conservative James Madison Institute Leaders Fellowship during their monthly meeting.

The theme encompassed a discussion on immigration reform, featuring Ted Hutchison with FWD, a Mark Zuckerberg-backed immigration advocacy group. The fellows were told there are many “misconceptions” about DACA recipients and that if they go the state will suffer financially.

“When we think of immigrants, we think of the people who work in (agriculture), or those who work with Google, but a lot of foreign-born nationals are cardiologists and doctors,” Hutchison said.

The districts where DACA recipients have the largest economic presence are those of U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Francis Rooney, both Republicans, and Lois Frankel, a Democrat. In those three districts alone, it is estimated DREAMers contribute approximately $349.3 million to the economy.

Here’s an estimated breakdown of DACA recipients’ contributions to each district in the state.

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.


  • Jody Young

    November 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Lois Fankle? Really?

  • Don Honda

    November 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists’ thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:



    The Conscience Of A Liberal–Paul Krugman

    “First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small.”
    ” But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    “My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand…

    “Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. ”

    Also, it is patently untrue that “immigrants” are the solution to low rate of start-ups:


  • AnnaMolina

    November 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    DACA is just like the TPS program (Temporary Protective Status) the goal for Democrats is permanent placement in the U.S. “Delayed” or “Temporary” are just ** terms used to mislead. These are programs used by Democrats to import as many refugees from the third world as they can then fight to keep them permanently. One day politicians may learn If you offer incentives, benefits people will come by the millions. So their answer is pass a “Dream act” legalize millions of illegal aliens (DACA.) But they don’t want to separate families….. so add another 1-2 million. Same with the TPS program.

    Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.”Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien anymore its “Immigrant.” They’re not adults, they are “Kids” or “children.” and no one seem to wonder why this obsession? future voters?

    JOBS-There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand DACA and TPS are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) There not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college. So when you hear of the “contributions by illegal aliens paying taxes.” Remember that also is at a cost in jobs citizens should have. Why must the citizens of our country have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes.

    “Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration….Dollars and Blood.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. We’ve been paying this for decades

    *Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

    Shattered American Dreams.


    Illegal Aliens/DACA Crimes


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