50 Chambers of Commerce Call on Congress to Pass Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Dreamers

Local and state business leaders cite billions in tax contributions and economic growth to call for a solution to keep Dreamers in the United States.

New York, NY — Today, over 50 chambers of commerce from 24 states signed an open letter to Congressional leadership calling for bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers. The undersigned business leaders recognize the important role Dreamers play in keeping our workforce young and competitive, contributing to the tax base, and creating jobs for all Americans.

“Dreamers shouldn’t have to pay the price for the gridlock in Washington,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “It’s time for Congress to do what makes business sense, end the legal limbo, and ensure Dreamers can pursue their careers right here in America.”

“We cannot close the door on a group of people that have helped sustain and grow our economy,” said Joe Reardon, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “Through their contributions, they have earned their status as examples of the American Dream just as much as any of us.”

“Research from NAE shows us that ninety percent of Tennessee’s thirteen thousand DACA-eligible residents are employed and working every day to keep our economy moving,” said Ralph Schulz, CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “These numbers speak for themselves: Dreamers are a vital factor in Nashville’s economic success.”

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, chambers are calling on Congress to find a permanent solution now. A recent poll by New American Economy (NAE) and Target Point Consulting found that there is bipartisan support for protecting Dreamers, including among majorities of conservatives and President Trump’s base voters. According to research by New American Economy, the 1.3 million DACA-eligible individuals make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, including earning $19.9 billion in income and contributing $3 billion in taxes in 2015 alone.

“In California alone, nearly 1.5 million people are employed at immigrant-owned firms, and Dreamers are at the forefront of this innovation,” said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “If we want to keep up with the global economy—as a region and as a nation—we need Congress to come to a solution for Dreamers.”

“Chambers of Commerce across the nation recognize the immense contributions Dreamers make to local economies,” said Matt Smith, President of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. “These young immigrants are contributing to the Pittsburgh region and are part of our communities.”

NAE’s Global Talent Chamber Network convened 15 of the nation’s largest chambers of commerce in Salt Lake City in late March to discuss the importance of immigration to local economies and build an agenda on this issue moving forward. The open letter came as a result of that convening.

Read the full text of the letter here.

Chamber Signatories:
Ambos Nogales Hispanic Chamber
Ames Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Asian Chamber of Commerce of Colorado
Boise Metro Chamber
Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Dallas Regional Chamber
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Douglas Hispanic Chamber
Dubuque Area Chamber
East Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Fresno Chamber of Commerce
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber
Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Pembroke Park/West Park Chamber of Commerce
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce
Quad Cities Chamber
Salt Lake Chamber
Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce
Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
Sierra Vista Hispanic Chamber
South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce
Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The Silicon Valley Organization
Tucson Hispanic Chamber
Weston Florida Chamber of Commerce

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…