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Activists at 10th anniversary news conference. Photo credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
DACA activists listen to a news conference on Capitol Hill to mark the 10th anniversary of DACA passing. Photo credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Dozens of Fortune 500 companies launch ad campaign to protect DACA

Large corporations are arguing that abolishing DACA would cost them billions in turnover and thousands of jobs.

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On Thursday, October 20, almost 90 companies including Google, Amazon, and Apple released a letter to Congress addressing the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter warns that if the program is shut down then the workforce will lose about 22,000 jobs at a rate of 1,000 a day over two years. This would compound the workforce shortage that the U.S. is already facing, and cost businesses over $6 billion in turnover costs.

The letter also states that, “When the last DACA recipient’s work permit expires, the U.S. will have lost more than 500,000 jobs, and the U.S. economy will lose as much as $11.7 billion annually — or roughly $1 billion monthly — in wages from previously employed DACA recipients. (To put this into perspective, in Texas alone, 400 healthcare workers and 300 teachers will be forced out of their jobs each month.)”

In a separate statement the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook said, “Dreamers are an essential part of the fabric of our nation. They make our communities stronger, they make our companies more innovative and they deserve a right to live in America with dignity.” 

“I stand with the bipartisan majority of Americans who agree that granting permanent protections for Dreamers is the right thing to do. It’s time for Congress to act,” he continued.

Texas is one of nine states, mostly Republican-led, that filed a lawsuit last year against DACA. The lawsuit claimed that the states faced financial harm from the cost of things like healthcare for undocumented immigrants.

The lawsuit made its way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that it was illegal. This is due to how the program came into effect. Since it was done through executive order instead of through Congress, it bypassed the public notice and comment periods. A lower court in Texas is currently reviewing the Biden Administration’s version of DACA. 

The only difference between the two versions is the current one did go through a period of public comment. Despite this, DACA supporters worry about a negative ruling since the presiding judge previously ruled that the 2012 version is illegal.  

One of the last paragraphs of the letter points out that many Americans support legislation for Dreamers. 

“For the last several years, this coalition has called upon Congress to act by passing a permanent, bipartisan legislative solution that would enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so. Poll after poll has shown strong majorities of Americans in both political parties support — protecting Dreamers.”

As of 2020, 74% of Americans support legislation to give DACA recipients a permanent legal status. A little over half (54%) of Republicans support this

Despite this, Republican aides who spoke to NBC News doubt that there will be bipartisan support for a bill that would protect Dreamers. 

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