Sacramento, CA — Today, several California business leaders responded to President Trump’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, opposing the decision to remove the thousands of individuals that help make California’s economy stronger. The group called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.
“It is not in this country’s DNA to kick out the thousands of young people under DACA who have lived and grown up right here in California. Because of their status, they have been instrumental to our growth, talent base, and entrepreneurial spirit – they are essential to our state’s future,” said Pierre-Jean Cobut, Co-founder of Spry Health, a start-up based in Silicon Valley. “They contribute and have been contributing just as much as other Americans, and we owe them the opportunity to live out their dreams.”
The group of leaders are working with New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan organization that supports immigration reforms which help both American and foreign-born workers build a better economy.
In a brief released on Friday, Spotlight on the DACA-Eligible Population, NAE found that:
- More than 316,200 Californians are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the California economy, 89.4 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- California’s DACA-eligible population earns more than $4.9 billion in total income annually.
- California’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $748 million in total taxes annually, $380 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue
So far, NAE petitions to oppose DACA repeal have garnered more than 2,500 signers across the state of California, and more than 20,000 nationwide.
“The administration’s decision to end DACA neglects to understand the drastic economic implications that this repeal will cause. Immigrants are a large piece of California’s economy, and the over 300,00 DREAMers in our state have been making an impact in their own right, from paying taxes to creating jobs to making our state feel an overall positive impact,” said Julian Cañete, President & CEO for the California Hispanic Chambers Of Commerce. “This action marks a substantial disappointment for the future of California, and I urge our congressional delegation to find a quick turnaround on immigration reform to make things right for these hardworking individuals.”
“DACA recipients are a critical part of our workforce, helping our businesses and economy grow and spurring future job creation,” said Paola Avila, Vice President of International Business Affairs & Leadership Development for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “San Diego’s immigrant population also provides a powerful economic impact in terms of spending power (approximately $16 billion annually) and taxes paid ($6 billion). In order to ensure an increase in GDP, we must grow not diminish our immigrant population.”