FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – State Business Executives issues an urgent plea to Congress to enact a permanent solution to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) providing immediate protections and certainty for Dreamers who have been under a ten-year unpredictable, unreliable, and unsettled legal order.
“There is no question our immigration system is broken. Our current system falls short in a number of areas, but for the last 10 years, DACA has given temporary relief and allowed over 300,000 young people the opportunity to continue to contribute to our economy and work toward the American Dream. While we continue to work toward common sense solutions to fix a broken system, let’s reflect on the programs like DACA that are working and take action to make them permanent,” stated Phil Bashaw, SBE Immigration Committee Chair and CEO of Arizona Farm Bureau.
Due to the temporary nature of DACA and legal challenges, DACA recipients live and work under an unsettled and unresolved legal status. Business and the economy would benefit from a permanent solution that allows these dedicated workers and entrepreneurs to not only work but create jobs and contribute to our communities and the economy. Throughout the United States, Dreamers contribute more than $2.7 billion in state and local taxes on top of the $3.4 billion they pay in federal taxes. Their purchasing power injects more than $20.2 annually into the nation’s economy according to research by the American Immigration Council.
“Providing these hard-working individuals, who came here as children, with permanent legal status and a pathway to citizenship is the right thing to do. It is also in the nation’s best economic interest to allow these dedicated workers, entrepreneurs, and neighbors to continue to work, live, and create jobs throughout our country. American businesses can only grow and prosper when they have access to the human capital they need. Dreamers fill critical workforce needs in fields such as healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing, hospitality, agriculture, and construction, and many served as frontline workers during the pandemic. By filling high-skilled jobs, serving in our military, and starting businesses, Dreamers have shown that they are a critical part of our nation’s economy and Congressional action should recognize this reality,” declared SBE Board Chair Justin Yancy, President of Texas Business Leadership Council.
Research by the American Immigration Council shows 46,737 DACA eligible Dreamers are entrepreneurs, 95% are employed and working in essential fields- 24,000 DACA-eligible immigrants work in US hospitals and another 38,000 work in care centers/services/facilities, physicians’ offices, community housing, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. DACA- eligible recipients work construction, a critical industry as we face housing shortages. They work in retail, hospitality, agriculture, and other sectors critical that drive our economy.
“There is no doubt our lack of any real immigration policy has now reached a critical moment in history, but for the last 10 years, DACA has been a light of hope for so many young people who because of no fault of their own, now call America home. This is not only a compassionate policy, but also critical to our economic success. Make it permanent!” said Peter Guzman, SBE Chair Elect and President of the Latin Chamber of Commerce NV.
With legal challenges and the temporary status of DACA, Congress must act to pass true bipartisan legislation that will create a permanent solution for Dreamers so they can continue to contribute to our local communities, work and help drive our economy, and live without fear of deportation.
About State Business Executives
State Business Executives through advocacy, education, and collaboration works to proactively support and develop non-partisan solutions that promote success for American businesses, workers, and communities. We will convene state business leaders to foster, cultivate and sustain an optimal business climate, drive business prosperity, and advance a strong national economy. To learn more visit statebusinessexecutives.org.