Featured letter DACA recipients have become political footballs

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I am writing in response to Jane Carrell's letter to the editor about DACA in the January 19-21 edition of the BDN. It is easy in the current political climate to pick and choose where to get information to portray the image one desires. In the case of Carrell's letter to the editor, she has chosen sources that lean in the direction of her own political leanings but in the process, the information she quotes is misleading.

A national survey done last August helps to shed light on the impact DACA eligibility has had on its recipients. It analyzed the economic, employment, educational and societal experiences of DACA recipients. (2017 National DACA Study) The data from this research shows that 91% of DACA recipients are employed; 93% for those 25 and older. Taxes paid by these DACA recipients contribute to our U.S. economy. More than 50% of recipients were able to move to jobs with better pay or jobs that were consistent with their education or were a better fit for their long-term career goals. Along with better jobs, also came better wages with increases between 69% and 83%.

Some were now able to get a driver's license for the first time, buy a car and obtain auto insurance. Some were able to start their own businesses and so hire employees. Some purchased their first homes. This all contributes to our local, state and national economies. Ninety-four percent of recipients said they can pursue an education that otherwise wouldn't have been available to them. Of those 25 and older, 36% have bachelor's degrees.

DACA status for the roughly 800,000 recipients has resulted in more opportunities for them and a better quality of life. This, in turn, has contributed to a stronger economy because of the purchasing power they now have that was not available prior to DACA.

Since renewal of this status is no longer possible, DACA is expiring for 122 recipients daily which could mean reversing the benefits awarded them through their DACA status.

Currently, the lives of these DACA recipients have become political footballs. Yes, they were brought to this country illegally by their parents or other adult with the hope for a better life. Let's not make this a reason to stop the progress they have made and thereby jeopardize their futures and the futures of their families.

Sources for additional information on DACA: Center for American Progress, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2017 National DACA Study, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), to name a few.

Ruth Kolpack

Beloit

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