Experts weigh in on impact of upcoming “DACA” decision

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -President Trump may decide to end a program that protects the children of those who have entered the country illegally sometime next week.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or “DACA” is an Obama-era program that protects those who came into the U.S. before turning 16, and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. The program, which requires participants to pass a background check, currently protects more than 800,000 people.

Now, as anticipation builds on the president’s decision, experts say ending the program could have significant impact that goes beyond politics.

Butler University Professor Fait Muedini says the impact of ending the program may hit the economy the hardest; particularly because many DACA participants work, pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

 “This affects insurance industries, this affects food, and this affects local communities.  Couple that with the cost that it will take to deport them, which some argue that it’s upwards of $10,000 per individual so you’re talking a multi-billion dollar program just to remove people,” he said.

Marlene Dotson, the president and CEO of the Indiana Latino Institute says that what’s often lost in these debates is that a decision to end the program would also affect the lives of nearly a million people.

“That’s not what America is. The foundation of this country is vibrant and unified. We believe in the strength of a family and the power of a family, and we can’t go breaking up families, we can’t go breaking hopes and dreams,” she said.

Many politicians have already expressed concerns over a potential decision to end the program, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. On Thursday hundreds of CEO’s and business leaders signed a letter urging the president not to end the program.

It’s important to note that DACA isn’t a universally loved program.  At least 10 Attorneys’ General have sued the White House to put an end to it.

Many have also questioned the constitutionality of the program, and the legality of President Obama implementing it from the beginning.

According to Muedini, even if President Trump did decide to end the program immediately, it would likely be years before its full impact is felt. Due mostly to the time left on the already granted permits in the program,  legal recourse that would  no doubt follow.