By Phil Crone
Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

In the midst of a labor shortage of nearly 20,000 construction workers in our area, the Dallas Builders Association is looking for young people to enter into an industry that desperately needs them. Much of our outreach has centered on our area’s vocational trade school programs. These are the same programs President Trump called to expand during last month’s State of the Union Address. They are also where about three in every four students are “Dreamers,” otherwise known as eligible recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), whose status is very much in limbo ahead of President Trump’s March 5 deadline to end the program in the absence of Congressional action.

Their future and the future of the housing industry are inextricably linked.

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DACA

Almost half of the Dallas ISD student population is comprised of English language learners, and district officials are planning for vast swaths of those students and their families to be affected by DACA’s expiration.

As Congress and President Trump continue to argue the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the uncertainty is affecting Dallas Independent School District classrooms, officials told the board of trustees yesterday.

“It’s out of our control,” said superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “They (Congress) worked on immigration for 10 years, without consensus.”

He added that a recent ruling in Federal court means that ending DACA can’t happen until all related pending court cases are resolved. The program is currently due to expire in March.

“So at least we know we’re safe for this year,” he said. “We have to let this thing play out. We don’t know for next year.” (more…)