Dreams Deferred

Gary Toebben

November 7, 2017

In early September, President Trump announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) if Congress does not act within six months to permanently legalize their status. A lack of action by Congress would impact 800,000 young adults that have DACA status. In California alone, we have more than 230,000 DACA young people. The majority are employed, and almost half are currently in school.

Research shows that without a legislative solution, California will experience a major economic set back because these young people are crucial to our state's workforce. Collectively, they earn $19.9 billion in total income each year, and contribute more than $3 billion to federal, state and local taxes in the United States.

The Chamber has long supported comprehensive immigration reform, including the passage of the California Dream Act. We understand the powerful impact that immigrants have on our economy (research) and in February of this year, we sent President Trump a letter with this data, detailing the benefits to our business community.

Unless Congress takes action, employers who have hired individuals as a result of DACA will not have any guidance as to how to handle this situation and youth under DACA will have uncertain futures. The Chamber supports the bipartisan, bicameral bill, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), the Dream Act of 2017, which will provide a long-term solution for these youth who want to work and go to school without the threat of deportation.

Congress has until December to deliver a Dream Act - the clock is ticking. Hundreds of chambers of commerce and more than 800 business leaders, including the CEOs of many California companies, have asked the Trump Administration not to rescind DACA and are urging Congressional action. They know that DACA recipients are making our economy stronger and deporting them would cause lasting economic harm to all of us. We encourage you to share this message with President Trump and your members of Congress.

And that's The Business Perspective.



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