If President Donald Trump ends protections against deportation for young immigrants, Illinois could lose $2.3 billion in its annual gross domestic product, the Chicago Tribune reported.
That number comes from a July report from the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning organization, the Tribune reported. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, protects young immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, or came with families who overstayed their visas. The program permits nearly 37,000 people in Illinois to work, the Tribune reported.
Trump declared on the campaign trail that the program was “illegal” executive amnesty and was under pressure from several states that threatened to sue the administration if he didn’t end the program. White House officials argue that the program is unconstitutional and that Congress should create legislation to deal with the issue.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA is an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
But Illinois business leaders have voiced disappointment with Trump’s actions to rescind the program and warned of serious economic harm as a result. The Center for American Progress also reported that the U.S. could lose $460.3 billion in GDP and $24.6 billion in tax contributions in the next 10 years.
The tech industry, medical establishments and low-end entry level jobs would see a big impact from the end of DACA, John Rowe, chairman emeritus of Exelon and co-chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, told the Tribune.
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted Sunday that more than 200 of his Apple coworkers are “dreamers,” the nickname given to DACA recipients. Microsoft’s president said in a blog post that almost 30 of the company’s employees benefit from DACA.
Along with 15 other states, Illinois filed a federal lawsuit, asking a judge to strike Trump’s plans to cut the program as unconstitutional, the Associated Press reported. More than 350 business leaders, including 80 from Illinois, signed a letter to Trump, urging him to preserve DACA.
The announcement of the end of the Barack Obama-era program has led to multiple people and organizations speaking out, including many Democrats and universities across the nation. Local representatives were mixed on their opinions on the program.
If Congress can’t pass legislation to legalize DACA within six months, Trump said he plans to revisit his decision on DACA.