Des Moines, IA — Today, the Iowa 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 Iowa Congressional Delegation to support reforms that allow DREAMers to remain in the economy and work to pass a solution this year.
“The DACA recipients in our state are important to our economic future. Eliminating protection for DREAMers would be a considerable loss for Iowa, so I’m encouraged to see Congress bringing solutions to the table,” said Dan Culhane, President & CEO of Ames Chamber of Commerce.
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:
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the U.S. economy, 90 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed.
- In 2015, DACA-eligible entrepreneurs had a total business income of $658.7 million, a significant boost to local economies across the country.
- DACA-eligible population earns almost $19.9 billion in total income annually. They contribute more than $1.4 billion to federal taxes and more than $1.6 billion to state and local taxes in the United States. They also hold significant economic clout after taxes, with almost $16.8 billion in spending power.
“Congress has the opportunity to affirmatively address and resolve the uncertain future of DACA recipients, many with exceptional talent that American needs,” said Rob Barron, Des Moines School Board Member. “I’m pleased that Senators Tillis, Lankford and Hatch have provided a starting point to discuss potential solutions to protecting these young, hardworking DREAMers.”
“DREAMers are the epitome of young, hardworking individuals, and they simply want the opportunity to contribute to the home they’ve only known,” said Isaiah McGee, Principal Partner at Equity and Justice Consulting. “I appreciate the Senate Republicans’ commitment to finding potential solutions to keeping DACA recipients in the U.S. I encourage our Iowa congressional members to continue to be a part of the discussion toward a thoughtful, bipartisan resolution.”