Phoenix, AZ — Today, Arizona business and industry leaders released an open letter addressed to the Arizona Congressional Delegation in response to the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The group cited economic data compiled by New American Economy (NAE) on the DACA-eligible population in the state, and called on the delegation to pass meaningful legislation that allows DREAMers to stay and contribute to the Arizona economy.
The open letter to the Arizona Congressional Delegation is released today by a cohort of state leaders who will lead the charge to mobilize signatures and support from additional conservative and business voices across the state.
Letter to the Arizona Congressional Delegation
As leaders and representatives of some of Arizona’s most important industries, we are committed to making sure our state’s economy continues to grow and create jobs for all Arizonans. From family farms to innovative tech companies, and from main street businesses to the Fortune 500, Arizona’s economy relies on all of our hard workers and taxpayers to drive our state forward. That’s why we strongly oppose the decision by the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has helped thousands of young Arizonans pay their way through school, contribute to our state’s workforce, start new businesses that create jobs, and have the opportunity to call the Grand Canyon State home.
Nationwide, there are as many as 1.3 million individuals who are DACA-eligible. The vast majority of them have graduated high school, and more than 90 percent speak English well or better. Collectively, they earn $19.9 billion in total income each year, and contribute more than $3 billion to federal, state and local taxes. Recent data from the Cato Institute estimated that deporting individuals with DACA status would cost the federal government over $60 billion, with an additional $280 billion in lost economic growth over the next decade.
In Arizona alone, as many as 39,682 young people are DACA-eligible, the vast majority (an estimated 87.9%) of whom are already working and contributing to our state’s key industries. These individuals pay a total of $40 million in state and local taxes, and according to a recent study, removing DACA holders would cost Arizona more than $1.3 billion in GDP every year. These young people are crucial to our state’s economic future, and it makes business sense to keep them in the country and allow them to work here.
We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act that will allow this population to stay in the U.S. and continue contributing to our workforce. Our future success depends on it. Let’s work together to keep the Arizona economy strong.
Tina Beattie, Vice President of Top Line Restaurants and Chairwoman of ConservAmerica
Gonzalo De La Melena, President & CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lea Márquez Peterson, President & CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Joe Sigg, Chief Administrative Officer of the Arizona Farm Bureau
Nick Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services