Passing the Dream Act would allow young immigrants to contribute more fully to Wisconsin’s economy, increasing public tax revenues and the state’s Gross Domestic Product, according to a new analysis released by the Wisconsin Budget Project.
In September, President Trump announced he was ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a policy that granted immigrant youth temporary permission to stay in the U.S. and to work lawfully. These youth will be subject to deportation when their protections expire unless Congress takes action. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, including Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have introduced the Dream Act of 2017, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for people protected by DACA and other individuals.
Ten thousand young immigrants potentially eligible for DACA call Wisconsin home, according to the analysis from the Wisconsin Budget Project. They currently contribute a total of $16 million annually in state and local taxes, an amount that would be lost to state and local governments if they are deported. On the other hand, passing the Dream Act and granting young immigrants work authorization and a pathway to citizenship would increase public revenues in Wisconsin by an estimated $4 million annually over current levels.
“Passing the Dream Act would put young immigrants on the same footing as other Wisconsin residents, allowing them to maximize their contributions to Wisconsin’s economy and communities,” said Tamarine Cornelius, an analyst at the Wisconsin Budget Project.
Read more in the new Wisconsin Budget Project report.