A coalition of numerous Fortune 500 companies are again adding their voices to the urgent call demanding Congress act on permanent protections for young undocumented immigrants by the end of this year.
The popular and successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program continues to be dismantled under GOP-pushed litigation, and its outlook is grim. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are among the businesses that have now taken out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, and Charlotte Observer urging congressional leaders to act before the current session ends. They write our economy will “face another crisis” if hundreds of thousands of program beneficiaries and their families lose critical protections.
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The companies and businesses say that since DACA’s implementation by the Obama administration a decade ago, program beneficiaries “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.”
However, a ruling by a conservative appeals court earlier this month “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 businesses and business leaders say an estimated 22,000 DACA recipients could lose their work permits every single month. Ultimately, DACA’s end would result in half a million lost jobs and cost our economy nearly $12 billion, they said.
“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,” they continue (click here for a full list of signatories). “That is the situation we currently face if this ruling becomes final, and it is the reason for our request today.”
Two DACA recipients also penned an urgent op-ed this week urging lawmakers from both parties to come together to pass relief. While the U.S. House under Democratic leadership passed legislative relief for DACA recipients as recently as last year, at least ten Republicans are needed to pass relief in the U.S. Senate due to the Jim Crow filibuster. None, like Marco Rubio, have had the courage or decency to lead this effort despite the majority of Americans across political parties favoring such legislation. “Right now, Congress needs to cut a bi-partisan deal and pass immigration legislation in 2022, that means averting the weekly loss of 5,000 work authorizations from DACA recipients over the next two years should the program be terminated,” Erika Andiola and Astrid Silva write in Univision.
“The 5th Circuit Court’s ruling makes it clear that Congress cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer,” the companies continued in their ad. “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.”
Many of these companies employ DACA recipients and have previously backed efforts supporting the program as its been steadily attacked by Republicans. When the previous administration rescinded the policy in 2017, over 100 joined legal action against that administration. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the administration unlawfully ended the program, with John Roberts joining the then-four liberal justices. That court is very different now.
“DACA is an already dead zombie program—the question now is will Congress actually pass something in lame duck, which could be the last chance before the horror that comes from nearly 700,000 DACA recipients’ being forced from their jobs and subjected to deportation,” FWD.us president Todd Schulte told NBC News.
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