Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could leave thousands of vacant jobs and severely impact the U.S. economy, including in the Alamo City.
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce works closely with DACA students and group workforces. A spokesperson with the organization says that dismantling the program will dilute the skilled workforce.
"These students are the future workforce of our state and our country,” said C. LeRoy Cavazos-Reyna with the Hispanic Chamber. “They're your engineers, they're your mathematicians, they're your hotel managers, they're your restaurant owners."
Cavazos-Reyna added that deporting skilled workers has a direct impact on economic growth locally.
"In order to attract foreign direct investment to an economy like San Antonio, you have to have the workforce to power those jobs," Cavazos-Reyna explained.
It’s unclear how many DACA recipients are in the workforce in San Antonio but according to the Migration Policy Institute, 13,000 people in Bexar County are elgible for the DACA program.
President Donald Trump’s plan is to phase out the DACA program over the next two years, forcing beneficiaries of the program to leave their jobs.
Texas is the second-largest state with DACA recipients with more than 120,000 approved recipients over the past five years, according to the Pew Research Center.
On average, 30,000 people will be out of work each month under the repeal of the program nationwide, according to the Center for American Progress.
This would put a great pressure on employers to fill the positions.
Research from the Cato Institute estimates that the termination of the program would reduce economic growth by $280 billion over the next 10 years and cost the federal government $60 billion to deport program recipients.
"Currently, DACA is not costing the taxpayer anything, " Cavazos-Reyna said. "There are no subsidies provided to DACA recipients under the Affordable Care Act. There are no vouchers or any type of welfare that DACA recipients are eligible for. If anything, these people are actively contributing to the American economy."
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