DACA is Bad for Economy

Many liberal organizations and media outlets proclaim that DACA is beneficial to the US economy since Dreamers pay taxes. We’re here to show how their paying minimal taxes is a BAD economic justification for DACA and in fact the economy would be much better helped by replacing Dreamers with high value legal immigrants from other countries.

What is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S.

Why DACA is Bad For Economy

Assuming that the United States can take in a finite number of immigrants, illegal immigrants are stealing the spots that could have gone to more deserving legal immigrants. Legal immigrants who could contribute more to the United States. DACA is essentially rewarding those who came to the United States illegally with work permits and safety from deportation. Why reward bad behavior?
The numbers below show that DACA recipients tend NOT to be high value immigrants compared to legal employment based immigration. The liberal left will show the few exceptions to “prove” that DACA is beneficial because someone went to an Ivy League school or was successful. That doesn’t show the success of DACA… out of 1.3 million DACA eligible recipients, what are a few cases of success? We should be looking for programs that have high median success rates.
What if we deported illegal immigrants? That would make room for legal immigrants who come here legally and pay more taxes than DACA recipients would.

Claims by Liberals / Democratic Party

Pelosi and Schumer Op-Ed

Dreamers have greatly contributed to our country. DACA recipients pay approximately $1.2 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes.

Claims by Democratic Party Policitians

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), another sponsor of the bill, said it would help 109,000 people in New York City and 180,000 statewide who hold jobs and pay taxes.
“These immigrants are not only a part of our social fabric, but they directly boost our economy,” Clarke said during debate on the House floor.

ITEP Research on DACA Tax Contributions

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, characterized as a liberal think tank by Pew Charitable Trusts (X1), put out research that was then highly repeated by left leaning organizations and media outlets about the contribution of DACA recipients.

Their claims include:

The 1.3 million young undocumented immigrants enrolled or immediately eligible for DACA contribute an estimated $1.7 billion a year in state and local taxes.
DACA-eligible individuals pay on average 8.3 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
Repealing the temporary legal status and work authorizations permitted by DACA would reduce estimated state and local revenues by nearly $700 million

Why That Argument Doesn’t Work

Liberals are trying to pull a fast one over you. Their claim is that having the 1.3 million illegals pay tax under DACA is better than them not paying tax at all. However, this is a flawed argument. There is no God given right that these people can stay! So in fact, the real comparison would be how much does DACA recipients contribute ($0.7b) compared to how much LEGAL immigrants would contribute ($17.0b). So what happens if we deportd illegal immigrants and bring in immigrants of value to the United States in their place?

High Skilled Legal Immigrants

Let’s look at legal immigrants, immigrants who “waited their turn” and went through the system the legal way. Let’s see what happens to taxes if we replaced them with legal immigrants of different classes.
Assumptions (taken from ITEP, the liberal think tank advocating for DACA):
-1.3 million DACA recipients (or immediately eligible recipients)
-paid $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, at rate of 9.7%. Here we assume this same tax rate for our replacements, which is low since higher income typically means higher tax rates.
-repealing DACA and the associated work permit would supposedly decrease taxes by $700 million

H1-B National Average

The average H1-B salary in the United States is $80,600 (Business Insider, X2) on average from 2010 to 2016. With inflation and the explosion of tech which is a large part of the H1-B program, that salary number is much higher.
If we replaced DACA recipients with H1-B qualified recipients and offered them work permits, that’s 1.3 million people multiplied $80600 at 9.7% tax rate is $10.16 billion gain from H1-B taxes compared to $0.7 billion loss from DACA repeal, resulting in net gain of $9.4 billion in state and local taxes. This is a 13,000% increase!

H1-B Tech Workers

What about tech workers at big name companies on H1-B? Then that average salary rises to $134,800 (Immihelp, X3) on average from 2017 to 2019.
If we replaced DACA recipients with H1-B tech workers at high paying companies, that’s 1.3 million people multiplied $134800 at 9.7% tax rate is $17.0 billion gain from H1-B taxes compared to $0.7 billion loss from DACA repeal, resulting in net gain of $16.3 billion in state and local taxes. This is a 23,000% increase!

Conclusion – Replace DACA with High Skilled Immigrants

There are no economic reasons for DACA. If the US was open to unlimited immigrants, then more immigrants can help increase GDP. As that is not the case, the economic move would be to replace DACA recipients with high value immigrants.

How You Can Help America

Support Republicans in the next election by campaigning for them and helping them win. While far from perfect, the US Republican party has the interests of Americans and especially minorities at heart. Democrats tend to be racist towards minorities, so let’s replace them with Republicans who care.


X1: Pew Trusts labeling ITEP as a liberal think tank. Also summary of their findings trying to promote DACA
X2: Pew Research, a respected think tank, analyzing H1-B salary and jobs
X3: Immihelp, Google H1B and Green Card salaries
X4: Schumer, Pelosi: Dreamers are as American as apple pie

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