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Georgia Business and Faith Leaders Respond to Trump Administration’s Decision to End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, Calls on Congress to Pass Bipartisan DREAM Act to Keep State Economy Strong

Local leaders cite the negative economic impact to Georgia of ending DACA and call for legislation to help keep DREAMers in the U.S.

Atlanta, GA — Today, Georgia business and faith 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 Georgia’s economy stronger. The group called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.

“The creativity, energy, and ingenuity of DACA recipients is essential to Georgia having a healthy, diverse economy,” said Tim Isaacson, Executive Director of Immigrant Hope-Atlanta. “It is imperative that we secure these people, who had no say in being brought to the U.S., a future by passing responsible legislation. I urge the Georgia congressional delegation to make it a priority for our state’s economic future and champion this legislation.”

The group is 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:

  • As many as 46,105 Georgians are currently DACA-eligible
  • Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the Georgia economy, 91.8 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
  • Georgia’s DACA-eligible population earns almost $530.8 million in total income annually
  • Georgia’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $75.6 million in total taxes annually, $42.6 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue in the state of Georgia

So far, NAE petitions opposing DACA repeal have garnered more than 300 signers across the state of Georgia, and more than 20,000 nationwide.

Bruce Seaman, Economist for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, added: “For an administration claiming the capacity to increase economic growth rates and strengthen key sectors of the U.S. economy, a policy adverse to DACA is indefensible, and the equivalent of scoring an own goal in soccer. It will weaken, not strengthen, the economy and essentially discard a sizeable and talented part of the young workforce that represents a key productive asset for the economic goals the administration claims to support. The fact that it also represents unjust treatment of so many dedicated and patriotic people who have known only life in the United States makes this policy not only misguided, but obscene. One can only hope that Congress has the courage and the wisdom to develop a rational and just immigration policy, since ultimately this is a matter for legislative action.”

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