Oklahoma City, OK — Today, Oklahoma business and community leaders responded to the announcement of the SUCCEED Act, co-sponsored by Senator James Lankford (R-OK), that aims to address the uncertain future of DREAMers following the announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
“I’m encouraged to see Senator Lankford acknowledge the need to bring solutions to the table that protect the DACA recipients in our state. They are integral to our economic future, and we must do everything we can to ensure a resolution that allows them to remain here and further contribute to our state’s success,” said Erika Lucas, Founder & CEO of StitchCrew. “I look forward to a renewed commitment by Congress to move the ball forward on modern immigration reform that helps keep foreign talent in our workforce.”
The group called for solutions that harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA. According to the New American Economy (NAE) brief Spotlight on the DACA-Eligible Population, in Oklahoma:
- As many as 11,672 Oklahomans are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the Oklahoma economy, 93.2 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- Oklahoma’s DACA-eligible population earns almost $146.3 million in total income annually.
- Oklahoma’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $20.3 million in total taxes annually, $12 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue in the state of Oklahoma
“I applaud this commonsense proposal that helps ensure we maintain the qualified and skilled workforce desperately needed in Tulsa and across the state of Oklahoma,” said Shelley Cadamy, Executive Director of Workforce Tulsa. “Only by retaining these vital workers can we ensure the necessary economic momentum our state needs.”
“Senator Lankford has been a strong supporter of the tourism industry since he first went to Washington. His co-sponsorship of the SUCCEED Act is a positive step in helping assure DREAMers that they have a secure place in America and the American business community,” said Mike Carrier, President of Oklahoma City Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “We sincerely appreciate his leadership on this very important program.”
“On behalf of the many Dreamers and the many Americans who support them, I applaud Senator Lankford for standing up for these great young men and women – our hopes and prayers are with them,” added William Velie, Attorney at Law. “This is a step in the right direction, and I hope that Senator Lankford can work with his colleagues to produce a successful bi-partisan solution that allows Dreamers to stay in the economy.”