Arizona Immigration Reform Coalition Responds 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 Arizona of ending DACA and call for legislation to help keep DREAMers in the U.S.

Phoenix, AZ — Today, the Arizona Immigration Reform Coalition 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 Arizona’s economy stronger. The coalition called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.

“Our country gains nothing, economically or morally, from punishing DACA DREAMers who want nothing more than to contribute as best as they can to the betterment of the only country most of these young people have ever known,” said Gonzalo A. de La Melena, Jr., President and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The senseless decision to end DACA as we know it will do irreparable harm to the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people. Congress must pass the DREAM Act now to protect these youth and the benefits they bring to our nation.”

The coalition 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 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

So far, NAE petitions to oppose DACA repeal have garnered more than 500 signers from across the state of Arizona, and more than 20,000 nationwide.

“Those protected by DACA are hardworking young individuals who provide much-needed value in the state of Arizona. Not only do they contribute a substantial amount to the state economy, they help to meet considerably growing gaps in workforce areas where we desperately need workers, like in our healthcare industry,” added Nick Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services. “For us not to recognize the need to support and protect these young men and women will not only hurt them, it will hurt us all here in Arizona.”

Leaders in the NAE Arizona Coalition include:

  • Bas Aja, Executive Vice President of Arizona Cattlemen Association
  • Kurt Altman, Former Assistant US Attorney and General Counsel to Goldwater Institute
  • John Augustine, Owner of Desert Tree Farm and Arizona Business Leader
  • Tina Beattie, Vice President of Top Line Restaurants and Chairwoman of ConservAmerica
  • Gonzalo De La Melena, President & CEO of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Sal DiCiccio, City Councilman, Phoenix City Council
  • Rob Ellman, Former Arizona Solicitor General
  • Jerry Fuentes, President of AT&T Arizona & New Mexico
  • Paul Hickman, President of Arizona Bankers Association
  • David Jones, Vice President of Small Business Banker, Bank of America
  • Jim Kolbe, Former Arizona Congressman
  • Todd Landfried, Executive Director of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform
  • Tom Liddy, Director of Risk Management for Maricopa County
  • Jack Lundsford, President & CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association
  • Doug Pruitt, Former President & CEO of Sundt Construction
  • Tony Rivero, Arizona House of Representatives, State District 21
  • Todd Sanders, President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
  • Joe Sigg, Government Relations Director of Arizona Farm Bureau
  • George Stavros, Co-Founder of Rocky Point Medical Clinic
  • Susie Stavros, Co-Founder of Rocky Point Medical Clinic
  • Nick Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services
  • Steve Trussell, Executive Director of Arizona Rock Products Association
  • Nan Walden, Owner, Green Valley Pecan Company
  • Dick Walden, Owner, Green Valley Pecan Company
  • Lee Heriaud, McDonald’s Franchise Owner
  • Dan Schweiker, Schweiker Consulting
  • David Martin, ‎President, of the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…