Business Leaders to Visit Capitol Hill to Ask Lawmakers to Pass a Permanent Solution for Dreamers Before Year-End
Companies from across the country to join fly-in to highlight positive impact of Dreamers on American businesses and the U.S. economy
WASHINGTON, DC – This week executives from some of the largest companies in the nation will travel to Washington with their Dreamer employees to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would permanently shield Dreamers from deportation. Among the nearly 100 participants who attended, companies represented include Microsoft, IBM and LinkedIn, among others.
Nearly 100 business leaders and Dreamers will meet with Members of Congress and staff to highlight the positive impact Dreamers have on businesses and the U.S. economy. With their work permits, the majority of America’s Dreamers have become gainfully employed – many at several major companies in America – and they help grow the American tax base by paying billions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes. Roughly 6% are entrepreneurs who have launched businesses and employ U.S. citizen workers.
A new study released this week by FWD.us found that if a Dream Act is not passed and implemented by March 5, nearly 300,000 DACA recipients, 1,700 per business day, will be removed from the workforce between March 6th and November 6th. Kicking Dreamers out of the workforce will result in more than $460 billion in lost GDP over the next decade, a devastating blow to our economy. In contrast, new estimates show that passing a Dream Act that creates an earned pathway to citizenship for Dreamers could add as much as $1 trillion to the national GDP over a decade.
Dreamers will also participate in a press conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and key business leaders have urged Congress to pass a legislative solution for Dreamers this year.
“The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have become an integral part of our communities and economy,” said Neil Bradley, senior vice president and chief policy officer for the U.S. Chamber. “A failure to achieve a meaningful solution for DACA would have a negative impact on our economy and our society. It is unthinkable for a nation of immigrants to fail to address this crisis before these hardworking people are forced out their jobs, schools, and communities.”
“Every day Dreamers make positive contributions to our company and our economy,” said IBM Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Christopher Padilla. “We have over 30 Dreamers who work at IBM, and I’ve had the chance to meet many of them over the past couple weeks when they’ve come to DC to share their stories directly with Members of Congress. They work in fields ranging from software development to sales to technical support, and one IBM Dreamer recently worked around-the-clock remote shifts to keep our Cloud support operations running when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. IBM stands by our Dreamers and we are encouraging Congress to pass legislation before the end of the year that would allow these young men and women to continue living and working in the only country many of them have ever known.”
“This is an urgent crisis, but also a real opportunity. Dreamers are making every sector of the economy stronger, they’re contributing in every state of the country and they make our nation stronger,” stated FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “We’re urging every Member of Congress to take a stand with Dreamers and pass a permanent legislative solution this year so that they can continue contributing to our economy and live free from the fear of deportation.”
“Passing a permanent legislative solution is essential to my future as an entrepreneur in the United States. I came to this country when I was only a year old and I have only know this country to be my home. This is where I learned to read, to speak, where I went to school and where I have begun my career. My dreams and aspirations are unique, but there 800,000 others who are faced with the same fear that the temporary protections we earned will expire and the futures we worked so hard to create will be gone. I ask Members of Congress to help Dreamers and to pass a permanent legislative solution before the end of this year,” said Dreamer Javier Velasquez.