The decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is cruel and self-defeating.

Deporting approximately 800,000 Dreamers will not lower the unemployment rate, will not lower anyone’s taxes, or raise anyone’s wages. It will remove the revenue generated by the fee that those 800,000 people pay every two years to gain admittance to the DACA program ($500 per Dreamer every two years or $400 billion every two years). Gone will be the taxes that Dreamers contribute. Yes, Dreamers do pay taxes – $2 billion per year. Deporting Dreamers would negatively impact the U.S. economy as they contribute about $5 trillion over a decade.

One must also consider the human cost. Dreamers are our neighbors, they go to school with our kids and grand-kids, they are members of the military, they are first responders, and they are heroes. They are people not unlike Alonso Guillen, a 31 year old disc jockey in Houston, who was a recipient of the DACA program. He died saving Harvey flood victims.

Congress needs to act with urgency to protect the Dreamers and give them a path to citizenship. Our country is better, is stronger with Dreamers as part of a diverse American society.

Maureen Egan, Portage