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Oklahoma Business and Community 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 Oklahoma of ending DACA and call for legislation to help keep DREAMers in the U.S.

Oklahoma City, OK — Today, Oklahoma business and community 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 Oklahoma’s economy stronger. The group called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.

“Ending DACA and removing the hundreds of thousands of workers from the U.S. economy would also result in great economic losses here in Oklahoma,” said Erika Lucas, Founder & CEO of StitchCrew. “Immigration plays a major role in the daily lives of Oklahomans. At a time when we are taking on another year of revenue deficits, it is crucial that we don’t take immigrant contributions for granted.”

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 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

“All over this country, there are children who arrived in the U.S. at a young age and are growing up as Americans,” said Renee Porter, President of Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School. “Our goal should be to ensure these children get a good education and are prepared to contribute to our economy and our tax base. To do anything less is counterproductive, wasteful and beneath the dignity of a nation that prides itself on respecting human rights and dignity.”

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