Migration Policy Institute
Hanging in the Balance: The Future of DACA and the Dreamers
Janet Napolitano, President, University of California, and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Arizona
Donald Graham, Cofounder of TheDream.Us; Chairman, Graham Holdings; and former CEO and Chairman, The Washington Post Co.
Ike Brannon, President, Capital Policy Analytics; Visiting Fellow, CATO Institute; former Chief Economist for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Republican Policy Committee, and Congressional Joint Economic Committee; and former Senior Economist, Office of Management and Budget
Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI
Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided a two-year renewable reprieve from deportation and eligibility for work authorization to more than 750,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children. Known as Dreamers, many are studying at U.S. colleges and universities or working legally in jobs throughout the U.S. labor market, and what will happen to these individuals is unclear as Donald Trump takes office.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump pledged to terminate DACA on day one of his presidency. Since then, he has said he would “work something out” because Dreamers have worked and attended school in the United States but face an uncertain future. Meanwhile, leaders in a number of sectors have mobilized strong opposition to a possible rollback.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties have reintroduced the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act to maintain protection from deportation and work authorization to DACA recipients. In communities across the United States, officials are declaring or reaffirming their intent to limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. In higher education, administrators are declaring their campuses will be sanctuaries for students who may fear immigration enforcement.
As the Trump administration assumes office and the impacts of rescinding DACA are under review, the Migration Policy Institute hosted a discussion with University of California President Janet Napolitano; Donald Graham, former Chairman of The Washington Post Co. and cofounder of TheDream.Us, which is funding scholarships for thousands of unauthorized immigrant students; and Ike Brannon, Visiting Fellow at the CATO Institute, and author of the just released study “The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Repealing DACA.”