What are 800,000 lives worth?
Economists say that ending DACA and putting its 800,000 participants at risk of deportation could cost the U.S. economy $200 billion, with Medicare/Medicaid contributions dropping $24 billion a year by denying the Dreamers the right to work legally.
The social impact is just as profound, with young people driven out of school, out of legal work, families disrupted, lives, dreams and ambitions put on hold.
What is one life worth?
Whether Boulder’s Latinx youth are DACA kids or not, we are failing them. At SPAN we know how these young people are hurting, we see it every day. In this most privileged of places, these young people struggle, isolated by poverty, racism, classism, sparse resources. The recent death by suicide of a young Latinx resident of the San Juan el Centro community sheds a stark light on this isolation, and the hopelessness and despair that can prosper in it.
According to the most recent Community Trends Report, 39% of Latinx children and youth in Boulder County are growing up in poverty. The most recent Boulder County Healthy Kids Colorado survey tells us that Latinx youth in Boulder County have higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation than non-Latinx kids.
Every one of these children is our child, a part of all of us. We can and must do better in supporting them, through creating a just and equitable system that addresses immigration issues fairly but also by committing ourselves to building a truly multicultural, multiracial community that embraces every one of our children as they dream, strive and create.