DACA vs. SCOTUS case could cost Kansas almost $2 billion

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments for the Department of Homeland Security, et. al., v. Regents of the University of California, et.al., Case No. 18-587, on Tuesday.

If the Court decides to agree with the Trump administration in rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, it could cost the state $1.79 billion.

The Court will decide whether or not the Trump administration has a right to rescind the program, which currently allows 800,000 people in the U.S. to live under deferred action, according to Professor Jeffrey Jackson for the Washburn University School of Law.

“Many of them were brought here as children. They’re now young adults. They’ve never actually known the countries that they’re from. They may not even speak the language,” Jackson said. “So if DACA disappears, suddenly all of those people are subject to deportation.”

DACA was created by the Obama administration in 2012, and puts people brought to the U.S. as minors at less of a risk for deportation. The program also allows them to get drivers licenses, jobs and health insurance.

In an initial attempt to rescind the program, the Trump administration called it unlawfully created. Now the Court must decide whether the new reasoning they present is enough to stop the program.

If DACA is rescinded, the 6,000 residents of Kansas under the program will be more reluctant to engage in the documented labor market, according to Jackson.

Governor Laura Kelly said in a statement that this would cause the Kansas economy to have a rough impact.

“It goes without saying that we need Washington to finally fix our country’s broken immigration system. But here in Kansas, we care about the well-being of all of our children,” Kelly said. “We simply shouldn’t punish children for decisions their parents made years ago. That’s not who we are as Kansans.”

Both Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt have joined in opposing amicus briefs for the case.

“By purporting to create DACA by executive action, President Obama established the cruel illusion of a program that in fact cannot lawfully exist, and in the process, his unilateral action short-circuited congressional negotiations toward permanent immigration reform,” Schmidt said. “The U.S. Supreme Court should make clear that it is not illegal to cease operating a federal program that was unlawfully created in the first place. Perhaps certainty from the nation’s highest court will finally give Congress the will to fix our broken immigration system.”

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