WASHINGTON – Following the reintroduction of the BRIDGE Act by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Representatives Mike Coffman (CO-6) and Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) of the companion legislation in the House, which would provide a legislative solution for 750,000 Dreamers who have already earned work permits and temporary relief from deportation via DACA, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement:
“The reintroduction of the BRIDGE Act represents a step forward to finding a solution that would protect hardworking young Dreamers from the fear of deportation, ensuring they could continue to work here and contribute to our communities and our economy in the only country most have ever known as home. This legislation creates a clean pathway for the approximately 750,000 DACA recipients to continue providing for their families and building their futures. Without action from Congress, these hardworking young individuals could be deported – uprooting their lives and harming their communities. We strongly encourage members of Congress in both parties to support this vital legislation right away.
“Thank you to the original cosponsors of the BRIDGE Act, including U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).”
The DACA program has unlocked countless economic opportunities for roughly 750,000 young people, 700,000 of whom are in the workforce and paying income taxes. In addition to getting a job, DACA allows young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, get health insurance, access basic health services, open bank accounts, pay taxes, enroll in college, take out mortgages and car loans, and provide for their families. Losing DACA would rip away these basic necessities from young immigrants who are integrated into American society, and would be a tremendous loss for these individuals, their families, and their communities. DACA has allowed Dreamers to work in every industry and at nearly every single major company in America.
Removing 700,000 people from the workforce in a single day would cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade. Other consequences include:
Six percent of DACA recipients have also launched businesses that employ native-born American citizens. Without work authorization, those businesses would be forced to shutter, sending American workers to the unemployment rolls, and halting tax and economic contributions.
Consumer purchasing power would shrink drastically. Almost 55 percent of DACA recipients have purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten — or 12 percent — have purchased their first home. 750,000 American residents would no longer be able to pay taxes or pay back loans for mortgages, cars, and higher education.
DACA repeal would divert limited enforcement resources from high security threats. DACA recipients have undergone biometric and biographical criminal background checks. Not only would a repeal drive 750,000 immigrants who have passed thorough background checks and are registered with the government back into the shadows, but it would waste enforcement resources.