President Joe Biden is preparing to sign an executive order protecting 600,000 illegal immigrants from deportation, NBC News reported Thursday, citing “people close to the White House.”
The move is being made in advance of a decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the future of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA protects illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children — so-called Dreamers — from deportation and allows them access to work permits.
As of December 2021, 611,470 migrants were protected under the program, according to the Migration Policy Insitute.
The Fifth Circuit is expected to end the program, and the Supreme Court has indicated it would affirm such a ruling, according to NBC News.
Sources close to the White House told the outlet that the administration’s plan would temporarily shield migrants protected under DACA.
Under the order, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would be directed to “deprioritize deporting DACA recipients and refrain from deporting them if they aren’t deemed threats to public safety or national security,” NBC News reported.
Proponents of the DACA policy, including Todd Schute, fear it will soon come to an abrupt end. Schute serves as president and executive director of FWD.us, an activist organization in favor of progressive immigration policies.
“DACA has been threatened in the past, but the current case ahead of the 5th Circuit Court is the most severe threat to date,” Schute told NBC News.
“If Congress does not pass legislation this year, it is likely that nearly 700,000 DACA recipients will be at risk of being forced out of their jobs and subjected to the threat of deportation,” he said.
“If the 5th Circuit rules against DACA, 1,000 existing DACA recipients will be at risk of losing their legal ability to work every single business day for the next 24 months,” Schute said.
Not all immigration experts are supportive of DACA, however.
Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at the Heritage Foundation, explained the other side in a 2020 article.
Ries argued that while immigrants most definitely benefit under the program, “those gains often come at the expense of U.S. workers and taxpayers.”
“[W]hat amnesty advocates … omit is the fact that illegal immigrants do take jobs away from Americans and that wages are depressed in some industries because illegal immigrants will charge less for their labor,” Ries wrote.
“Studies have also shown that the taxes paid by illegal immigrants are far less than their costs to U.S. taxpayers. These costs include: direct benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation; means-tested welfare benefits; K-12 public education ($14,439 per student); and population-based services such as police, fire, highways, parks, etc.”
“While those with deferred action and work authorization may benefit financially from their illegal entry into this country, U.S. citizens who must compete against them for jobs and taxpayers who must fund their government benefits do not.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.