DACA and South Carolina

DACA and South Carolina

One of the programs that President Obama signed into existence by Executive Order was DACA – Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. This program addressed the problems faced by young immigrants who grew up as Americans because their parents brought them here, but who were never documented or whose visas expired while still children. Such people are technically here illegally, along with tens of millions of others; the Obama Executive Order essentially told the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to defer action against these people and concentrate on the other millions. This deferral would become permanent if the young men or women were to join the U.S. military; they would be eligible for citizenship afterward. Or they could successfully complete college or hold down a permanent job; then they would then gain not citizenship but a long-term work visa. Undocumented young people in a certain age bracket who were brought here while much younger would only be eligible if they committed no crimes and contributed to our economy rather than being a drain on it.

The Trump administration has now announced its intention to allow the program to end in March of next year, unless Congress acts to make it permanent.

Are these people really contributing to our economy, and if so how much are they contributing? According to a recent article in the Columbia newspaper, a study by the University of Southern California and the Center for American Progress answered exactly that question, state by state. They estimated that in South Carolina there are 9,100 DACA residents who together account for $262.7 million dollars in our state’s economy. To put that into perspective, that number is almost twice the population of the town of Edgefield, and the $262.7 million dollars they contribute to the state is about six times the annual income earned in total by all residents of Edgefield. Of course, the concentration of DACA eligible immigrants is in the same places as the concentration of the rest of us: in the larger South Carolina cities. But the study further broke down their economic impact by Congressional district. Our Third District runs from Edgefield County to Oconee County, encompassing all the counties along the Savannah River and its tributaries along the way. In the Third District, DACA residents contribute $14 million dollars, or about half of the annual income earned in total by all the residents of Johnston. That is not a figure easily ignored.

Living here in South Carolina virtually their whole lives, attending our public schools, and now not burdening our economy but rather contributing substantially to it, many DACA recipients are our neighbors and deserve our support. It is not always easy to do what is right for our neighbors if that action might not be in our own or our family’s self-interest. Happily, this is not the case for DACA: supporting it is right both morally and economically and spans political lines. President Obama initiated the program, and President Trump himself has stated he would support it if enacted by legislation rather than by Executive Order. Our local governments at the city and county levels should pass resolutions in support of DACA. Our legislative delegation at the state level should indicate their support as well, as in the best interest of our county and state. And we should strongly urge our Congressional delegation to ensure that permanent DACA legislation is enacted with a priority equal to Tax Reform – to be completed before they, and we, begin a worry-free holiday season. They should enable our DACA neighbors to enjoy a worry-free holiday season as well.

Robert Scott


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3 Responses to "DACA and South Carolina"

  1. Noneofyourbusiness   November 4, 2017 at 10:34 am

    How about a conservative op-ed to counter this lefty stuff constantly put out by Robert Scott?

  2. AmpieM   November 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    “Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration……Dollars and Blood.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student.

    *Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

    Shattered Dreams American citizen style.

  3. AmpieM   November 3, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens! There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

    The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college.Why must the citizens of our country have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes.

    The GOAL, motivation (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and decrease the BILLIONS we spend on illegal aliens.