One month ago, the House of Representatives passed a funding bill for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, that if enacted, would end the immigration directives announced by President Barack Obama on November 20, 2014. Ending executive action would place 5 million people—the majority of whom are young DREAMers or parents of citizens or permanent residents—back in the crosshairs for deportation. But what would it actually take to deport these 5 million people?
Put simply, it would cost more than $50.3 billion dollars to deport this entire population—an average cost of $10,070 per person. Instead of pretending that the United States will deport all 5 million individuals shielded by the president’s executive action, Congress should pass an immigration reform bill that puts them on a path to legal status, toward becoming full and equal members of society.