By Alana Abramson
September 6, 2017

It’s not just the Dreamers who stand to lose from the Trump administration’s decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program; it’s the U.S. economy as a whole.

The economy could lose out on about $280 billion if the Trump Administration deports the nearly one million undocumented who qualified for the program, according to a January 2017 study from the CATO Institute.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the White House will begin to phase out the program, known colloquially as DACA. Under the Obama-era program undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors can apply for a renewable two-year work permit that would protect them from deportation. Nearly 800,000 people, also known as Dreamers, have benefited from DACA

According to the CATO institute, deporting these recipients could cost the government at least $60 billion. Overall, rescinding the program would reduce economic growth by $280 billion.

Ike Brannon, a co-author of the study, wrote in a blog post on August 31 that these numbers are conservative, and the numbers could potentially be higher.

“Many Americans believe that the presence of unauthorized immigrants is harmful to the economy and would like to see steps taken to reduce their presence. However, a repeal or roll-back of DACA would harm the economy and cost the U.S. government a significant amount of lost tax revenue,” the study reads.

Part of Sessions’ argument in favor of rescinding the program was economic; he said it had adversely impacted native born Americans “It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens,” he said.

Another report, published by progressive advocacy group Center for American Progress and FWD.us, found that repealing the program could cost the U.S. $460.3 billion in economic output over the next decade, and that contributions to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security could drop by $24.6 billion.

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