Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Trump administration’s plan to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), set to be argued before the Supreme Court next week, could not only upend 700,000 immigrants’ lives but present serious risks to U.S. national security.

The big picture: DACA has offered young immigrants temporary protection from deportation and the legal ability to work. Ending the program would consume significant law enforcement resources while hampering U.S. military readiness and Western Hemispheric stability.

Between the lines:

  1. The cost of DACA deportations could run as high as $7.5 billion. Funding its rescission would require shifting resources away from cross-border crime, counterterrorism and emergent threats that homeland security and law enforcement officials could otherwise prioritize.
  2. Hundreds of DACA recipients are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program. MAVNI recruits immigrants with language skills and cultural competencies that are especially valuable to Special Operations Forces carrying out sensitive missions.
  3. The majority of DACA recipients would be deported to countries in Central and South America that are already struggling with poverty, crime and oversubscribed social services. A large influx of returning migrants would add to the destabilizing strain throughout the region and could further exacerbate the challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The other side: The Trump administration has argued before the courts that rescinding DACA would deter migrant flows.

  • But, but, but: Since DACA recipients had to have arrived more than 12 years ago, the program has no clear magnet effect for those migrating today.

The bottom line: The Supreme Court's ultimate ruling on DACA will have implications not just for a narrow area of immigration policy but for U.S. security and its leadership role in the Americas.

Denis McDonough served as deputy national security adviser and White House chief of staff in the Obama administration.

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

What the 2020 election means for science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 presidential election presents two stark paths for the direction of future-focused scientific research.

Why it matters: Science is a long game, with today's breakthroughs often stemming from research carried out decades ago, often with government help. That means the person who occupies the White House over the next four years will help shape the state of technology for decades into the future.

Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, makes landfall on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta, classified as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!