Open Letter from Republican Leaders on DACA
As business leaders, employers, and life-long Republicans we strongly support Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Thom Tillis' (R-NC) efforts with with Senators Durbin and Padilla to find a bipartisan solution for our nation’s two million Dreamers, including those ineligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (see: “ Senators Relaunch Bipartisan Immigration Discussions,” Roll Call, April 28, 2022).
While the nation celebrates the 10th Anniversary of DACA on June 15, 2022, Dreamers and those like us who employ them are bracing ourselves for a new reality.
Next month, the Fifth Circuit Court will hear oral arguments on a case that will determine DACA’s future. If the program is struck down, it will cause untold devastation not only for Dreamers and their families, but also for the industry sectors that have come to rely on their hard work. There are about two open jobs for every person out of work. Taking hundreds of thousands out of the labor force will further fuel inflation, exacerbate supply chain challenges and tip the economy into recession.
The United States is in a global contest to attract and retain talent. To that end, providing permanent legal status to Dreamers makes sound economic sense. Our policies must allow us to compete for the workers we need to fuel our economy and retain the young talent that already exists here but lacks the security of permanent legal status.
Dreamers are a critical and integral part of our nation’s economy and workforce. DACA’s success has unleashed the economic potential of almost 800,000 people, allowing them to contribute to our economy, start families, buy homes, build businesses, and bring their talents to the industry sectors where they’re most needed. Three-quarters of DACA participants in the workforce – 343,000 people – provide healthcare services, and 11,000 work tirelessly keeping our hospital and clinic facilities up and running.
For more than a decade, DACA participants, their employers and employees, have been vulnerable to government indecision that has sown anxiety, instability, and legal limbo in their lives—and in our nation’s workforce.
Any serious effort to pass sensible immigration reform must be bipartisan and will have to include provisions to ensure an orderly, safe, and secure border.
At a time of widespread labor shortage and rising food and gas prices, we wholeheartedly support Senators Cornyn and Tillis' efforts to find common sense solutions. Improving border security and providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers is not only morally right; it is also absolutely crucial to addressing labor shortages, reducing food prices and creating jobs for all American families.
Craig Duchossois, Chairman of the Board, the Duchossois Group, Co-Chairman, American Business Immigration Coalition
Woody Hunt, Chairman of the Board, Hunt Companies, Co-Chairman, American Business Immigration Coalition
Harlan Crow, Chairman of the Board, Crow Holdings
John Rowe, Chairman Emeritus, Exelon Corporation, Co-Chairman, American Business Immigration Coalition
Bob Worsley, Arizona Republican State Senator - Retired
Stan Marek, Chairman of the Board, MAREK
Brint Ryan, Chairman, Texas Task Force to Restart Economy
Nolan Perez, M.D., Regent, The University of Texas System Board of Regents
Glenn Hamer, CEO and President, Texas Association of Business
Al Cardenas, former Chairman, Florida Republican Party
Norman Braman, Chairman of the Board, Braman Motors
Bill Kunkler, Executive Vice President, CC Industries
David Barber, Barber Foods Chairman and CEO