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US GDP would take a hit from DACA deportations, report finds

  • The U.S. economy could take a major hit if President Trump decides to end the DACA program, according to a new report.
  • The Obama-era policy protects some 750,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally as children.
  • The latest research comes from FWD.us, a pro-immigration reform group co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, which found that canceling the program would mean roughly 30,000 a month would lose their work permits as their DACA status expires.
  • The research follows a study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress that estimated the loss of DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $433 billion over the next 10 years.

The U.S. economy could take a multibillion-dollar hit if the Trump administration decides to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, an Obama-era policy protecting some 750,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, according to groups supporting the program.

The latest research comes from FWD.us, a pro-immigration reform group co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, which found that 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed. Canceling the program, which shields those immigrants from deportation, would mean roughly 30,000 a month would lose their work permits as their DACA status expires, the report said.

The research follows a study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress that estimated the loss of DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $433 billion over the next 10 years.

That economic impact would be felt unevenly across the country. California, with an estimated 188,000 DACA workers, would suffer a GDP loss of $11.3 billion a year, according to the CAP research. Texas would lose $6.1 billion in GDP annually, and North Carolina would lose $1.9 billion a year.

In June, 10 Republican state attorneys general urged the Trump administration to rescind the DACA program, noting the government did not have to revoke permits that had already been issued.

If the federal government did not withdraw DACA by Sept. 5, the attorneys general said they would file a legal challenge to the program in a Texas federal court.

The 10 who signed the letter represent Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

NBCNews reported last week that Trump is said to be weighing whether to let DACA gradually expire or end it immediately, but White House officials said it is not yet clear which option Trump may choose.

The program "continues to be under review," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters Friday.

A larger coalition of 26 Republican attorneys general had challenged the Obama-era policy covering parents who entered the country illegally, known as DAPA, which had been blocked by the courts before it took effect. The Department of Homeland Security rescinded that policy earlier this year.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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