Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when everyone was still in the glow of Obama's second term, Donald Trump said at a campaign rally

"Illegal immigration costs our country more than $113 billion a year. And this is what we get," Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said. "For the money we are going to spend on illegal immigration over the next 10 years, we could provide 1 million at-risk students with a school voucher, which so many people are wanting."

Trump also famously called Mexicans (which he uses as a general term for all Latinos) "rapists and drug dealers", but now I'm going to talk about the money. Surprisingly, when Politifact contacted Trump's campaign to ask for a source for that figure, they did not receive a reply.

So, does it make financial sense to end DACA? Like any Senator who cares about the well being of the Republic, I did some research. 


The bipartisan Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that "a policy of mass deportation would immediately reduce the nation's GDP by 1.4%...and reduce cumulative GDP over 10 years by 4.7 trillion" and that "Removing 7 million unauthorized workers would reduce national employment by an amount similar to that experienced during the Great Recession."

That should be enough to make any politician who cares about the economy pause and at least evaluate CAP's findings and data. It should make an intelligent politician re-evaluate the idea of ending DACA.

But there's MORE. It turns out that ending DACA without a replacement would be a GALACTICALLY bad idea for the US economy. The CAP report also found that: "Mass deportation would cost the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years."

And there's still more (yes, this is like the opening crawler that just keeps going.)

CAP also estimates the "direct cost to the government of physically deporting this many unauthorized immigrants at $114 billion". Yes. That's right. It COSTS MONEY to deport people. It's not free. 

States with the largest immigrant populations will be hit hardest economically. CAP broke the estimates down by state - the 10 states that stand to be impacted most are:

State Estimated Annual GDP Loss
California $11,620,786,775
Texas $6,294,162,134
New York $2,598,303,273
Illinois $2,296,685,031
New Jersey $1,587,108,546
Florida $1,524,721,538
Arizona $1,322,494,899
North Carolina $,1,198,925,683
Washington $1,098,330,382

 

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes

Then there is the fact that undocumented immigrants pay taxes. Yes, I know, Trump said they don't, but he was wrong about that too. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.74 billion in state and local taxes pear year in sales and excise, personal income, and property taxes. Receiving a DACA permit actually allows undocumented immigrants to register for college or vocational training, which allows them to earn more and therefore pay more in taxes - approximately 2.1 billion more, per ITEP. 

Mr. Trump's lies are out there. Far, far out there. 

 


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