WASHINGTON – Following the introduction of the BRIDGE Act by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which provides a clean, legislative solution for 750,000 Dreamers who earned work permits and temporary relief from deportation, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement.
“We’re encouraged to see Congress moving closer to a solution that would avoid removing long overdue protections for young undocumented immigrants – often called Dreamers – who came to America as children. The bill provides a clean pathway for roughly 750,000 young people to keep living and working in the United States. If passed, we would keep teachers in schools, nurses in emergency rooms, and an important workforce contributing to our economy. Without Congressional action, it’s likely these young people, who have known no other home, would be deported to a country that is unfamiliar to them. This is the right thing to do economically and morally and we hope members in both parties will support this critical legislation.”
The 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.