By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of young people in Minnesota and Wisconsin could face arrest and eviction from the United States.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, or DACA, allows them to get a two-year work permit that shields them from deportation.

But President Donald Trump ended that Obama-era program — unless Congress acts soon.

DACA recipients must be:

  • Under age 16 when they came to the U.S.
  • Living continuously in the country since 2007.
  • In school or graduated and working.
  • Free of a criminal record.
  • Many states now give, or plan to give, driver’s licenses to DACA recipients so they can get to work or school: California, Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    And the impact on the economy by DACA recipients is significant:

  • The cost of rounding up and deporting 750,000 DACA recipients: $60 billion.
  • The loss to the economy: at least $280 billion over 10 years.
  • In Minnesota, 6,324 young people have DACA status.

    In Wisconsin, that number is even higher: 7,564 have DACA permits, protecting them from deportation, for now.

    Part of what makes the DACA drama poignant? Young people gave all of their personal information to the government with the promise it would not be used against them.

    Now it is possible the government could use the information for deporting not only DACA recipients, but their parents, too.

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