New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced on Friday that the New York City is planning to launch a new taxpayer-funded program to help illegal aliens meet certain requirements to receive deferred action under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, created by President Obama in 2012, provides illegal aliens with temporary protection against deportation, in addition to temporary work permits to allow them to compete with citizen and legal immigrants in the job market. The city-sponsored program, called ActionNYC DACA Education Initiative, will utilize nine community education providers, including the City University of New York, to offer classes to assist illegal aliens meet the education requirements for DACA.
While Mayor de Blasio and his staff have been focusing their efforts and directing New York City resident’s taxpayer dollars on educating illegal aliens, millions of New York City citizens and legal immigrants are struggling with basic literacy and technical skills. Adults without basic literacy skills are often shut out of the job market and are substantially more likely to live in poverty. An alarming 2 million, or 25 percent, of the total New York City population is reportedly described as “functionally illiterate.” Additionally, a report from 2013 indicate that nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates lack basic reading, writing, and math skills needed to qualify for community college.
Additionally, Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to make illegal aliens eligible for DACA might ultimately prove to be a waste. In late 2014, twenty-six states, led by the State of Texas, sued the federal government in its attempt to expand the DACA program. The DACA program has not been authorized by any act of Congress and directly violates the Immigration and Nationality Act. In addition, the plaintiff-states allege that the Obama Administration violated the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the U.S. President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” as well as the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to follow legal procedures necessary to change federal rules. In February 2015, a federal court put a block on implementation of the expansion until the court rules on its validity.
Mayor de Blasio has not commented on how much this program will cost city taxpayers. New York City is estimated to have approximately a half million illegal alien residents.