Phoenix, AZ — Today, the Arizona Immigration Reform Coalition responded to the announcement of the SUCCEED Act, legislation that addresses the uncertain future of DREAMers following the announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The group urged the Arizona Congressional Delegation to support reforms that allow DREAMers to remain in the economy and work to pass a solution this year.
“It’s encouraging that we have another legislative option on the table to extend to DACA recipients permanent legal protections,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “Time is growing short, however. Congress needs to do its job quickly and find a way to adopt legislation that settles the DACA issue and ensures that individuals who are making a positive contribution to American society can remain here.”
“The SUCCEED Act is a necessary step toward fixing our outdated and broken immigration system. Reform is desperately needed and the DREAMers in this country must be allowed to continue their contributions to Arizona,” said Jerry Fuentes, President of AT&T Arizona and New Mexico. “The SUCCEED Act calls on Congress to take action and there is much work that needs to be done. I urge Senator McCain and Senator Flake to take a serious look at this act while keeping the needs of our DREAMers in mind to further this discussion and bring economic success to this state.”
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 Arizona:
- As many as 39,682 Arizonans are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the Arizona economy, 87.9 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- Arizona’s DACA-eligible population earns almost $438.2 million in total income annually.
- Arizona’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $66.3 million in total taxes annually, $40 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue in the state of Arizona.
“We are hopeful that Congress will take this opportunity to regularize the status of these young Americans we call Dreamers,” said Paul Hickman, President and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association. “They are important to our economy and society. They deserve to know that they can continue to contribute without fear of deportation.”
“With Arizona being a border state to Mexico, we are no strangers to the DREAMers here in our neighborhoods and the immigrants who help make our economy tick. We understand the need to keep these hard workers and bright young minds right here in Arizona to contribute to our communities and the economy,” said Nick Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services. “The SUCCEED Act recently introduced is a step in the right direction to retain our DREAMers and helps them to continue creating jobs and providing economic growth. The Arizona Congressional delegation must work to keep the SUCCEED Act in the immigration reform discussion and help to keep our DREAMers here in Arizona and in the United States.”