A contingent of immigrant youth and allies braved the sudden snowfall drive to Washington DC to show their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A van load of residents from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing were joined by Detroiters. All will be on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday when the Courts hears hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of president Trump’s stripping protections from those brought to the US as children.
“It is unconscionable that 5,300 people including our family, friends and neighbors could be uprooted from our communities and deported to a country they hardly know. I know that immigrants make Michigan, and especially the community I serve, a better place to live and are tightly woven into the fabric of our nation,” said State Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit ). “If the Supreme Court allows DACA to be terminated, it will have dire consequences for Dreamers, thousands of families, and our economy. I am proud to stand with DACA recipients across our state in opposition to this horrific attempt to rip families apart and devastate countless communities.”
Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA allows immigrants brought to the U.S. without documents to live, study, work and contribute to the country they call home without fear of deportation. Despite its broad success and strong public support, DACA is in the fight of its life because President Trump and eight conservative-led states have gone to court to end it. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the legality of ending DACA on November 12.
“We’re at a make or break point for thousands of families in Michigan and millions around the country,” said Daniel Carecho, a DACA recipient from Grand Rapids. “We will stand in front of the US Supreme Court to make sure they know DACA has provided a huge boost to Michigan’s revenue because it allows immigrants brought here as children to work. More importantly, DACA also holds communities and families together, acts as a shield to protect people who mostly have known one home, here in Michigan.”
Michigan is home to about 5,300 DACA recipients, who on average arrived in Michigan at the age of 6 years. Across the U.S., there are 1.5 million individuals living in mixed status households with a DACA program recipient, including more than a quarter million U.S.-born children of DACA recipients. In Michigan, the DACA program has resulted in $42 million in federal tax payments and $23.3 million in state and local taxes, for a combined total of $65.3 million. The spending power is $194.7 million for the state’s economy.
Many local governments including Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Lansing have filed amicus briefs strongly supporting DACA to the Supreme Court. University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel joined university officials from across the country in submitting a brief expressing his strong support for DACA.