What will happen to Dreamers?
“Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life – studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class, only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak. That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act. It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you've been here for five years, if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship,” President Barack Obama
President Obama’s DREAM Act in 2012 offered protections to more than 611,000 undocumented immigrants to live in this country without fear of being deported.
But their dream of American citizenship has been deferred over and over again due to Congressional delays and court challenges over the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program
This hour on Where We Live, we look into DACA’s legal challenges and the ongoing efforts by the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale to protect undocumented young immigrants. We also hear from one of the early DACA recipients in Connecticut, and from a Connecticut resident who is not eligible for the program.
Later, we talk about the economic impact of immigrants to the nation.
The Higher Ed Immigration Portal estimates that the federal tax contributions of DACA-eligible residents in Connecticut totals $39.6 million, and state and local tax contributions amount to $30 million.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, there were 3,360 DACA recipients in Connecticut as of Dec. 2021. There are an estimated 12,000 DACA-eligible individuals statewide.
- Michael Wishnie: Founder of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic; and Professor, Yale Law School.
- Carolina Bortoletto: Early DACA recipient and Co-founder, Connecticut Students for a Dream
- Najely Clavijo: Undocumented immigrant who does not qualify for DACA
- Fred Carstensen: Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut