Sacramento, CA — Today, the California 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 California Congressional Delegation to support reforms that allow DREAMers to remain in the economy and work to pass a solution this year.
“For too long, our immigration system has been outdated and not suited for the twenty-first century economy. With the introduction of the SUCCEED Act, we are now moving in the right direction toward fixing our system and allowing DREAMers to continue to contribute to our economy and fulfill their dreams right here in America,” said Julian Canete, CEO of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “DREAMers are our neighbors and we must take care of them. I urge the entire California Congressional Delegation to come together to find a solution for DREAMers and modernize our immigration system at large.”
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 California:
- More than 316,200 Californians are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the California economy, 89.4 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- California’s DACA-eligible population earns more than $4.9 billion in total income annually.
- California’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $748 million in total taxes annually, $380 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue
“The DREAMer population in California is the largest in the United States. Our communities understand the great benefits that DREAMers provide, as they enhance our economies by opening their own businesses and help our businesses grow by filling workforce shortage gaps,” said Paola Avila, Vice President of International Business Affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The SUCCEED Act takes all of this into account, and I urge the California Congressional Delegation to help keep our DREAMers right here in our neighborhoods. They are upstanding citizens and they deserve an updated immigration system that works for them and our country.”
“It’s not difficult to see the impact of both immigrants and DREAMers in California. Nevertheless, our DREAMer neighbors must not be forgotten and the door must never be closed on them. The SUCCEED Act introduced in the Senate takes steps to ensure they are able to remain as contributors to our economy,” said PJ Cobut, Co-founder of Spry Health. “There is still much work to be done to fix DACA and reform our immigration system, but we must build on this progress to ensure a viable solution for all of the DREAMers here in California and across the country.”