Louisville, KY — Today, local leaders in Kentucky released an open letter addressed to the Kentucky Congressional Delegation in response to the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The group cited economic data compiled by New American Economy (NAE) on the DACA-eligible population in the state, and called on the delegation to pass meaningful legislation that allows DREAMers to stay and contribute to the Kentucky economy.
The open letter to the Kentucky Congressional Delegation is released today by a cohort of state leaders who will lead the charge to mobilize signatures and support from additional conservative and business voices across the state.
Letter to the Kentucky Congressional Delegation
As leaders and representatives of some of Kentucky’s most important industries, we are committed to making sure our state’s economy continues to grow and create jobs for all Kentuckians. From main street businesses to major manufacturing companies, Kentucky’s economy relies on all of our hard workers and taxpayers to drive our state forward. That’s why we strongly oppose the decision by the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has helped thousands of young Kentuckians pay their way through school, contribute to our state’s workforce, start new businesses that create jobs, and have the opportunity to call the Bluegrass State home.
Nationwide, there are as many as 1.3 million individuals who are DACA-eligible. The vast majority of them have graduated high school, and more than 90 percent speak English well or better. Collectively, they earn $19.9 billion in total income each year, and contribute more than $3 billion to federal, state and local taxes. Recent data from the Cato Institute estimated that deporting individuals with DACA status would cost the federal government over $60 billion, with an additional $280 billion in lost economic growth over the next decade.
In Kentucky alone, as many as 5,459 young people are DACA-eligible, the vast majority (an estimated 90.5%) of whom are already working and contributing to our state’s key industries. These individuals pay a total of $6.1 million in state and local taxes, and according to a recent study, removing current DACA holders would cost Kentucky more than $155 million in GDP every year. These young people are crucial to our state’s economic future, and it makes business sense to keep them in the country and allow them to work here.
We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act that will allow this population to stay in the U.S. and continue contributing to our workforce. Our future success depends on it. Let’s work together to keep the Kentucky economy strong.
Charles Baesler, Immigration Attorney at Stoll, Keenon & Ogden PLLC
Martin Brooks, Midwest Regional Coordinator for Peace Catalyst International
Jose Donis, Publisher of Al Dia en America
Luis David Fuentes, El Kentubano
Glen Krebs, Immigration Attorney at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
Barbara Menefee, Immigration Attorney and Partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP