Mayors from the largest US cities are warning President-elect Donald Trump of the potential economic harm he might cause if he wipes out a program that allows young illegal immigrants to remain in the United States, Reuters reports.
They warned that as much as US$9.9 billion in tax revenue would be lost over four years and US$433.4 billion in U.S. gross domestic product would be wiped out over 10 years if he cancels a policy aimed at protecting these people from deportation.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, was created through an executive order in 2012.
It allows undocumented young people brought to the United States before the age of 16 to remain without fear of deportation as they pursue a higher education, work or engage in military service. The deferred action is subject to renewal every two years.
The mayors asked for the program to allow for initial applications and renewals to continue until “Congress modernizes our immigration system and provides a more permanent form of relief for these individuals.”
As president, Trump would have the authority to undo DACA.
“This program helps foster economic growth and enhances public safety and national security,” said the letter, written by the Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and signed by mayors of other major US cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston.
“We are clear as mayors that these are dreamers who are seeking the American Dream, and we should embrace them rather than do a bait-and-switch,” Emanuel said after presenting Trump the letter at a meeting in New York.
Trump has called for the deportation of illegal immigrants, an estimated 11 million people, and promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
According to the letter, which was made available to the press, nearly 742,000 undocumented youths have participated in DACA.
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