Republican lawmakers opposing President Barack Obama's immigration actions risk alienating potential GOP supporters and may be jeopardizing the party's future, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Southern California.
The USC Dornsife Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration evaluated the demographics of children whose parents would benefit from Obama’s expansion of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, which would allow parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for deportation deferrals and work permits. The program is part of Obama's 2014 executive actions on immigration, which a Texas judge put on hold last month until he makes a permanent decision March 19.
DAPA would allow 3.7 million adults to stay in the U.S. By 2020, there will be 1.7 million children of potential DAPA beneficiaries who are U.S.-born and eligible to vote, the researchers found, .
Those voters, the report's authors argued, "will have memories of how particular political leaders treated their loved ones in a critical moment of transition in our immigration policy."
Those who oppose DAPA, the study said, "may want to take into account how those future voters ... will feel if their parents remain in an immigration limbo brought about by the recent judicial decision or by Congressional attempts to roll back the President’s executive actions. There are, in short, longterm political costs to resisting the implementation of DAPA."
Republican lawmakers have been fiercely opposing Obama's immigration actions, but they may soon step back to focus on budget, trade deals and tax reform, Politico reported Monday. That doesn't mean they won't return to the issue in the future, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.
"I think you’ll see it in some form again, sooner or later. I just don’t know when,” Cornyn said, according to Politico. “We’ve got a lot of important stuff to do.”
Ditching Obama's immigration plan and deporting the entire current undocumented population, a report from the left-leaning Center for American Progress found last month, would cost more than $50.3 billion, or an average $10,070 per person.