Cause and Effect of DACA


Photo by Nina Piazzo

Let’s get a couple things straight, DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Started in 2012, DACA has allowed undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children to come out of the shadows and obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.

DACA, however, does not give them a path to become US citizens or even legal permanent residents. Dreamers, DACA recipients, are basically stuck in this limbo where they have grown up in this country and in some cases didn’t know they were undocumented immigrants until they’re teens when they applied for their driver’s license or for college.

Ending DACA will not only take ‘dreamers’ away from a country they’ve known all their lives and send them back to a place they barely remember, but it will also have devastating effects on the U.S economy.

A study by CATO Institute, an “American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.”, estimated that the loss to the federal government alone would be about $60 billion over the next 10 years and the overall economic impact of ending DACA at up to $200 billion. Ike Brannon, CATO Institute fellow who worked on the previously mentioned study, also thinks ending DACA would put Dreamers into the underground economy, leaving them earning much less and probably not paying any taxes at all. To put it into clear and simple terms, ending DACA is bad all around.

According to, “Few adults can remember anything that happened to them before the age of 3. A new study has documented that it’s about age 7 when our earliest memories begin to fade, a phenomenon known as childhood amnesia.”

Take Juan Escalante as an example. Escalante, who is originally from Venezuela, was brought to the U.S. at a young age and didn’t find out he was an undocumented immigrant until he applied for college.

“I remember the day I found out I was undocumented. I got a call from an admissions office from a university that I had applied to. They wanted to see a green card. I was extremely embarrassed. My mother started crying and saying she was sorry and that she just wanted a better future for us,” Escalante said, in an interview with VOX.

Escalante and nearly eight thousand other DACA recipients are American in every way except in legal terms. This is the only country they remember and to take them away from this country and throwing them back into a country they might not even remember is not only affecting these young adults but it also has a huge effect on the U.S economy.

I get it, unless this directly affects you or someone close to you it might be hard to understand, but imagine growing up in a country, having your life, friends and family there, and then all of a sudden realizing that all of that might be taken away. It’s not like these Dreamers had any idea what they were doing when they came here. No, you see, they were brought here by their parents to get them away from the crime that their countries often hold.

America is seen as a promised land where people can flourish and have a better chance in life. So can someone, even the president or congress, punish those brought to America because their parents loved them so much they were willing to break the law for them?