Center for American Progress

RELEASE: A Win in the Texas Court Case Means Losing Big for the 10 States Suing to End DACA, According to New CAP Column
Press Release

RELEASE: A Win in the Texas Court Case Means Losing Big for the 10 States Suing to End DACA, According to New CAP Column

Press Contacts

  • Rafael Medina

Washington, D.C. — A new CAP column debunks Texas’ argument that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a drag on the plaintiff states’ economies. Data show that the 10 states suing to end DACA accrue substantial and demonstrable economic benefits because of DACA recipients in their states and stand to lose big if their lawsuit is successful.

In May, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), in conjunction with six other states, filed a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to terminate DACA, a program that, over the past six years, has provided work permits, safety from deportation, and the ability to purse higher education to nearly 820,000 recipients who came to the United States as children. Despite the success of DACA and the American public’s overwhelming support for its continuation, Kansas’ attorney general and two Republican governors from Maine and Mississippi, have since joined the lawsuit, making it 10 states actively trying to end DACA.

The 10 states suing to end DACA should consider these facts:

1. The 10 plaintiff states are home to 144,000 DACA recipients that are thriving.

  • The latest survey of DACA beneficiaries shows economic and educational gains continue to grow.
    • Eighty-nine percent are employed; 6 percent started their own business—a rate that is higher than that of the American public; 62 percent purchased their first car; and 14 percent purchased their first home after receiving DACA.

2. The plaintiff states collectively stand to lose an estimated $7.4 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP) by removing DACA recipients from the labor force.

  • Texas alone stands to lose $6 billion in annual GDP.

3. The plaintiff states stand to lose $311 million in annual tax revenue. 

  • 1.3 million undocumented youth contribute an estimated $1.7 billion annually to state and local taxes.
  • The 10 states suing the Trump administration stand to lose an estimated $311 million annually in state and local tax revenue.
  • Texas would lose the most at $245 million in revenue annually.

4. A win for plaintiff states is a loss for the rest of the country. 

  • Terminating DACA would reduce state and local tax revenue by nearly $700 million across the country.
  • The 40 states and the District of Columbia that are not part of the lawsuit—including New Jersey, which was permitted to intervene in the lawsuit—would lose an estimated $35 billion in annual GDP by removing DACA recipients from the labor force.

“It is no surprise that DACA recipients are contributing mightily even to the 10 states suing to end the initiative. It’s time for opponents of DACA to end their threats, recognize the potential of DACA recipients, and do their part to ensure that these young people are protected from deportation and can remain permanently a part of their communities,” said Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “What is important to remember is that DACA renewals are being accepted right now. With a very limited window of time, every day that DACA renewals remain open is an opportunity for recipients to submit their renewal applications,” added Laura Muñoz Lopez, special assistant for Immigration Policy at the Center.