Utah Immigration Reform Coalition Responds to Trump Administration’s Decision to End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, Calls on Congress to Pass Bipartisan DREAM Act to Keep State Economy Strong

Local leaders cite the negative economic impact to Utah of ending DACA and call for legislation to help keep DREAMers in the U.S.

Salt Lake City, UT — Today, the Utah 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 Utah’s economy stronger. The coalition called for Congressional solutions that instead harness the power of the foreign-born individuals eligible under DACA.

“Removing the young individuals protected under DACA is a great loss for Utah,” said Holly Richardson, Former State Representative. “The elimination of the many contributions they add to our state, including the jobs they help create and the millions they pay in taxes, will be felt throughout our economy. I encourage Congress to pass the DREAM Act to help bring back the many hardworking individuals who wish to make our country a better place.”

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:

  • More than 13,600 Utahns are currently DACA-eligible
  • Despite the rhetoric claiming undocumented youths are a drain on the Utah economy, 91.4 percent of the DACA-eligible population who are at least 16 years old are employed
  • Utah’s DACA-eligible population earns more than $176 million in total income annually.
  • Utah’s DACA-eligible population contributes more than $22 million in total taxes annually, $13 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue

“Children who arrived as immigrants without documentation are hard working, contributing members of our community and an important part of our economy. We appreciate past attempts from Utah’s congressional delegation to find compassionate solutions for this group,” said Jason Mathis, Executive Vice President, Salt Lake Chamber. “In light of President Trump’s actions today, we urge our senators and representatives to redouble their efforts find a legal way forward for these kids. Our continued success as a state requires the hard work, brain power and entrepreneurial spirit of DACA recipients who help build our economy.”

“These individuals previously protected under DACA have been making a noticeable difference in our state’s economy, and now we are turning our backs on their valued success,” said Stan Lockhart, Former Utah Republican Party Chairman. “I ask our members of Congress to act in a reasonable way to keep foreign-born talent right here in Utah contributing to a prosperous future for us all.”

Leaders in the NAE Utah Coalition include:

  • Mike Winder, Utah State Senator
  • Suzanne Mulet, Chairwoman of Salt Lake County Republican Party
  • Jake Garn, Former U.S. Senator and Former Salt Lake City Mayor
  • Aimee Winder Newton, Salt Lake City Councilwoman
  • Stan Parrish, President & CEO of Sandy Chamber of Commerce
  • Todd Weiler, Utah State Senator
  • Stan Lockhart, Former Utah Republican Party Chairman
  • Jorge Dennis, President of EnviroKleen
  • Howard Stephenson, State Senator and President & CEO of Utah Taxpayers Association
  • Tim Wheelwright, Immigration Attorney at Durham, Jones and Pinegar and Immigration Reform Task Force Chair at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • Holly Richardson, Former State Representative
  • Marco Diaz, Former National Vice Chair at the U.S. Republican Hispanic Assembly and Former State Chair for the Utah Republican Hispanic Assembly
  • Randy Parker, CEO of Utah Farm Bureau
  • Melva Sine, President & CEO of Utah Restaurant Association
  • Jason Mathis, Executive Vice President of Salt Lake Chamber

Paul Mero, CEO of Next Generation Freedom Fund

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…