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Kamala Harris' immigration plan aims to protect migrants, DACA

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Democratic candidate Kamala Harris unveiled her plan for Dreamers and other immigrants. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
Democratic candidate Kamala Harris unveiled her plan for Dreamers and other immigrants. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

June 13 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has unveiled her plan for immigration, which would use executive authority to guard 6 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and offer Dreamers a path to citizenship.

Harris, a senator from California, is one of 20 Democratic candidates expected to participate in the first two nights of debates later this month.

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"As president, Harris will take executive action to keep immigrant families together and eliminate barriers that prevent Dreamers from accessing a path to citizenship," Harris' plan states.

Harris said she would reinstate and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which started under the Obama administration. Federal courts have blocked President Donald Trump's plan to phase out the program.

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Harris' plan would protect immigrants from deportation, which she said would be worth nearly half-trillion dollars to the U.S. economy over the next decade. The path to citizenship would be available to 2.1 million Dreamers under the plan.

"Despite [Trump's] best efforts, he can't shake the resolve of our Dreamers and the hope they have in the America we'll build when he's gone," she said. "It's an America where families are kept together, not torn apart. It's an America where children are cared for, not kept in cages. It's an America where Dreamers are finally recognized for what they are: Americans."

The plan would clarify rules to show Dreamers were not at fault for the lapse in their immigration status, as they were brought into the United States as children. It also removes barriers and makes the transition to citizenship easier.

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Harris doesn't list any costs associated with the plan. The Congressional Budget Office found the federal deficit could increase by $26 billion over 10 years because newly legalized immigrants would be eligible for federal benefits. The benefits to the GDP, estimated at $445 billion, would outweigh the cost to the deficit.

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