Support, don’t deport dreamers

To the editor:

I’ve been researching the illegal immigration situation with the dreamers. What I’ve found surprises me and makes me want to support them rather than deport them.

•The term “dreamers” includes many children but not just children. They often came here as children but are now often 18-34 or older.

•Applicants coming with their kids had to provide evidence they were living in the United States at the prescribed times, proof of education, confirmation of their identities and a clean criminal record. They also had to pass background, fingerprint and other checks that look at biological features.

•The DACA program allows its roughly 690,000 recipients — commonly referred to as dreamers — to obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally get jobs. They not only contribute to society, but also the economy by paying income taxes.

•Education-wise, 20 percent are in middle school or high school, 44 percent have completed high school but not in college, 18 percent are in college, 15 percent have completed some college and 4 percent have completed college. (Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Sept. 4, 2017)

•The public perception of dreamers as criminals is wrong. “They have lower crime and incarceration rates than native-born Americans of the same age and education level. American males ages 18-34 have a 12.5 percent higher jail rate than the dreamers” according to Brief # 3, “The Dreamer Incarceration Rate” published by the CATO Institute. (The CATO institute is funded by the conservative Charles Koch Foundation. The report is dated Aug. 30, 2017.)

•Dreamers impact our economy. Nearly 60 percent of prospective beneficiaries over the age of 15 participate in the labor force. 60 business executives — including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, General Motors, Google, Hewlett Packard, IBM. Microsoft and Walmart — have urged a solution, because: “If Congress fails to act, our economy could lose $215 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage” (Published in Portico on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017).

•Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, states in the Portico article: “We must continue to advance our culture of belonging, where open hearts and minds combine to unleash the potential of the brilliant mix of people, in every corner of the world.”

I agree!