While running for president, Donald Trump made his pledge to eliminate what he called the "illegal" Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—a 2012 executive order that allows children of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents, often called Dreamers, to be temporarily spared deportation—a central plank of his campaign. Now that he's taken office, advocates warn that doing so would do more than harm DACA's nearly 750,000 beneficiaries. According to an estimate by the left-leaning Center for American Progress, such a move could also spell economic disaster.
Revoking DACA, CAP projects, would deprive the U.S. GDP of more than $433 billion over the next decade, and North Carolina of more than $10 billion. And that figure doesn't take into account the toll deportation of the 741,000 DACA beneficiaries (26,936 of whom live in the Tar Heel State) would take on the families of the deported. After all, legal status affords immigrant youths the ability to obtain employment opportunities and health care coverage. That would evaporate the second Trump overrides President Obama's executive order, which the new president could do with the stroke of a pen.
Despite his feverish anti-immigrant rhetoric, however, Trump has not yet exercised that option.
In fact, the new administration seems to be having second thoughts. On Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer told the media that the White House would focus on deporting undocumented criminals, not Dreamers, which mirrors the Obama administration's immigration priorities; on Sunday, chief of staff Reince Priebus told Fox News that Trump planned to work with Congress on a "long-term solution," though he didn't provide details.