OPINION

Opinion: Texas would be one of the biggest financial beneficiaries of DAPA

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30:  A woman embraces her child as they watch the group "Youth United For Justice" protest Arizona's new immigration law April 30, 2010 in Oakland, California. Dozens of people marched in protest of Arizona state bill 1070 which was signed into law this past week and gives law enforcement officials unprecedented authority to stop and question  suspected illegal immigrants.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30: A woman embraces her child as they watch the group "Youth United For Justice" protest Arizona's new immigration law April 30, 2010 in Oakland, California. Dozens of people marched in protest of Arizona state bill 1070 which was signed into law this past week and gives law enforcement officials unprecedented authority to stop and question suspected illegal immigrants. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

Texans are proud of the Texas miracle. We repeatedly lead the nation in job creation. In the years following the great recession, our state created more than a third of all new jobs in the country. This year, four Texas cities made Forbes Magazine’s Top 10 “Cities of the Future.” We know a good deal when we see one.

The State of Texas should look out for its best economic interests and drop its lawsuit against DAPA. This policy could have a life-changing impact on Texas families while also providing an economic boost to our state.

- Rebecca Acuña

Which is why the state’s recent argument in the Supreme Court against a program from which it would economically benefit, is perplexing. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA) would provide work eligibility and relief from deportation to immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents who have stayed out of trouble, undergo rigorous background checks and have long standing ties to our country. Implementing this program is a moneymaker for Texas.

Of all the states, Texas would be one of the biggest financial benefaciaries of DAPA. According to the Migration Policy Institute, if DAPA were in place, Texas would see an increase of $38.3 billion in GDP, the incomes of all Texas residents would rise by $17.6 billion, and our state would create an additional 4,800 jobs a year for the next decade.

More jobs, higher incomes, and an increased GPD — that’s a deal our state can’t turn down.

Aside from the financial benefits, this policy keeps families together — a quintessentially Texas value. DAPA would allow young children born in this country the same opportunities as some of their classmates: the chance to grow up with their parents.

The media was captivated by Sophie Cruz, the adorable U.S.-born 5-year-old, who, with her colorful dress and jet black hair pulled back in braids, handed Pope Francis a letter asking for his support on a path to legalization for her parents. In her letter Sophie wrote, “Every day I am scared that one day they will take them away from me.”

More On This...

The fear a parent won’t be home when a child gets home from school is real for children across Texas and the country. More than 700,000 parents in Texas could directly benefit from this program – including 122,000 parents in Dallas County. While a statistic to most people – these figures are a blessing to children who will get to remain with their parents. 

Before the Supreme Court, the State of Texas argued that DAPA would present an undue burden through costs incurred in providing this population drivers licenses. However, the billions of dollars in economic gains from the implementation of this program would far supersede those costs. That’s why business leaders and local government officials, including County Judges in Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Travis counties support the program.

Further, while others are concerned that this program would serve as a magnet for future migration, only the parents who already lived in the United States for several years when this program was announced would be eligible for DAPA.

The State of Texas should look out for its best economic interests and drop its lawsuit against DAPA. This policy could have a life-changing impact on Texas families while also providing an economic boost to our state.

It is a deal we can’t turn down.

Rebecca Acuña is the executive director of the Latino Center for Leadership Development.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram

TRENDING IN OPINION