Raleigh, NC — Today, the North Carolina 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 North Carolina’s economy stronger. The coalition called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.
“Deporting hundreds of thousands of young, hardworking and talented people is not the direction that our country needs to go on immigration reform. Not only are we neglecting our values system, we are ignoring the numerous contributions that DREAMers bring to our communities,” said Justice Robert F. Orr, NC Supreme Court (retired). “Here in North Carolina, the economic numbers speak for themselves. Removing these individuals from our workforce would undoubtedly limit our potential.”
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 37,894 North Carolinians are currently DACA-eligible
- Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the North Carolina economy, 90.7 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
- North Carolina’s DACA-eligible population earns almost $479.4 million in total income annually.
- North Carolina’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $64.1 million in total taxes annually, $35.7 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue in the state of North Carolina
So far, NAE petitions opposing DACA repeal have garnered more than 900 signers across the state of North Carolina, and more than 20,000 nationwide.
“God calls us to be welcoming to all immigrants. The young people that the DREAM Act seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, academic successes in our universities, and leaders in our churches and communities. As people of faith, we have long supported DREAMers, as we believe in defending the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children,” said Jennie Belle, Director of North Carolina Council of Churches. “We have two choices: we can allow a generation of young people to contribute more fully to our society and to our economy as taxpaying members of the workforce, or we can kick them out and lose them forever.”
Leaders in the NAE North Carolina Coalition include:
- Steve Rao, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Morrisville,
- Linda Andrews, National Legislative Director for North Carolina Farm Bureau
- Christopher Hylton, Restaurateur, Oro Restaurant and Lounge
- Robert Orr, Attorney and Retired North Carolina Supreme Court Justice
- Johnny Barnes, Vice President of Farm Pak/Barnes Farming,
- Jennie Belle, Director of North Carolina Council of Churches,
- Matthew Hebb, Chairman of North Carolina Young Republicans
- Scott Laster, Partner at Kairos Government Affairs
- David Miner, Former Rep., Resources Group
- Matt Adams, Former College Republicans State Chair
- Wendy Jackson, Former College Republicans State Chair
- Ed McMahan, Former Rep., Little & Association, Partner at Falfurrias Capital Partners
- Dick Sears, Mayor, City of Holly Springs