Denver, CO — Today, the Colorado 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 Colorado Congressional Delegation to support reforms that allow DREAMers to remain in the economy and work to pass a solution this year.
“With these proposals, Congress is on the correct path to fixing our broken immigration system. The DREAMers throughout the country and here in Colorado contribute to our economy and help enhance our state’s talent base,” said Robert Golden, President and CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. “The SUCCEED Act takes into account the benefits DREAMers bring to our state and understands the detriments to our economy if they were forced to leave. I hope that Senator Gardner works together with his fellow colleagues to push the immigration reform discussion forward and pass a fix by the end of this year.”
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 Colorado:
- As many as 24,917 Coloradans are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the Colorado economy, 95.3 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- Colorado’s DACA-eligible population earns almost $374.1 million in total income annually.
- Colorado’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $52.1 million in total taxes annually, $25.5 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue in the state of Colorado
“Business development plays a key role in growing the economy. The DREAMers right here in Colorado are helping in that regard by filling workforce shortages and are even opening their own businesses,” said Jeff Wasden, President of the Colorado Business Roundtable. “The SUCCEED Act, the latest immigration reform bill introduced, works to keep our immigrant neighbors where they are, as contributors. This bill takes a positive step toward in making our immigration system reflective of the twenty-first century. There is still much work to do be done, but this act ensures DREAMers will continue to have a future in this state.”
“The SUCCEED Act is the latest proposed fix for the DACA population, and works to address the challenges the DACA recipients face here in Colorado and across the country,” said Clarence Low, President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Colorado. “Our current immigration system is a challenge to our Asian immigrant community and those who are part of the DACA program, whose only wish is to be able to stay and contribute in America. I hope that Senator Gardner is responsive to his constituents and works to protect our communities, and in turn our economy.”
“As research has shown, DREAMers are positive contributors for our communities and economy just as much as any native-born citizen. But our immigration system is broken, and the recent DACA decision has created further uncertainty,” said Cathy Shull, Executive Director of Pro 15. “The SUCCEED Act, introduced this week in the Senate, is cognizant of these facts and begins the work to help keep DREAMers in our state. I encourage Senator Gardner to work with his colleagues to pass a solution this year and further push toward reform that finally brings our immigration system into the twenty-first century.”
“The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce supports a path to citizenship for young people who came to Colorado before they were 18 years old. With today’s historically low rates of unemployment, the rationale for taking that position is more relevant than ever,” said Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “Our members believe all Coloradans should have the opportunity to work and contribute in the country they have long called home – the United States of America. Our smart, healthy, diverse workforce is our competitive advantage, and we hope that our delegation will work hard so that our government doesn’t turn away the thousands of kids eager to continue their studies, find jobs and contribute to our economy.”