AAU joined more than 80 top businesses and organizations in calling on Congress to take legislative action and protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a letter to congressional leaders, the Coalition for the American Dream noted that businesses, already suffering from workforce challenges, would “face another crisis if Congress fails to act on an issue that has strong bipartisan support from the American people.”
The full letter is below:
October 20, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
|The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20515
|The Honorable Charles Schumer
Speaker Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515
|The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader Republican Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:
We write on behalf of thousands of U.S. businesses, large and small, that represent every major sector of the U.S. economy and more than half of America’s private sector workers. Collectively, we represent the backbone of an American economy facing tremendous workforce challenges as a result of the pandemic. We face another crisis if Congress fails to act on an issue that has strong bipartisan support from the American people.
Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has provided work authorization and protections from deportation for young immigrants who came to this country as children. They grew up here, were educated here, and have built the entirety of their lives here. Many of them have built successful careers as teachers, small business owners, health care workers, and entrepreneurs across a host of industries. They are our friends, our neighbors, and our coworkers.
The recent ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring DACA illegal puts all of these individuals, their families, and their employers at risk. Each DACA recipient will soon face the threat of losing their work authorization and protection from deportation, while our businesses face the threat of losing critical employees.
The worker shortage will get worse for the United States if hundreds of thousands of critical workers are stripped of their legal ability to support themselves and their families. That is the situation we currently face if this ruling becomes final, and it is the reason for our request today.
Given that DACA applications and renewals were granted on a rolling basis, the end to this program means that an estimated 22,000 jobs would be lost every month for two years. That isroughly 1,000 job losses per business day at a time when the U.S. economy already faces significant workforce shortages.
When the last DACA recipient’s work permit expires, the U.S. will have lost more than 500,000 jobs, and the U.S. economy will lose as much as $11.7 billion annually – or roughly $1 billion monthly – in wages from previously employed DACA recipients. (To put this into perspective, in Texas alone, 400 healthcare workers and 300 teachers will be forced out of their jobs each month.)
For the last several years, this coalition has called upon Congress to act by passing a permanent, bipartisan legislative solution that would enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so. Poll after poll has shown strong majorities of Americans in both political parties, including 71 percent of “conservatives,” support protecting Dreamers.
The 5th Circuit Court’s ruling makes it clear that Congress cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer. Bipartisan measures have already been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. We urge you to swiftly pass legislation this year that will help Dreamers, American businesses, and our country.
The Coalition for the American Dream
cc: Members of the United States Senate
cc: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives