ABIC Statement on Senate Judiciary Cmte Hearing on Dream and Promise Act on 9th anniversary of DACA
AUSTION, TX — The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing today on the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), which would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and children of H-1B holders who are aging out of status. The bill was passed in the House in March with bipartisan support.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) called the hearing exactly 9 years after President Obama created DACA, shielding hundreds of thousands from deportation and giving them a chance to work and contribute to the communities and the U.S. economy. The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), which represents more than 1,200 CEOs and business associations across 15 states, submitted testimony in support of this bipartisan legislation because it believes immigration solutions like this one are economically important, morally right and politically smart.
If passed, the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act would increase GDP by almost $800 billion over 10 years and create close to 300,000 new jobs, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. In other words, it will be a shot in the arm to the U.S. economy which is struggling to find the workers it needs to grow and thrive.
Raising the stakes even more, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen is expected to rule on the legality of the program any day, potentially throwing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers further into legal limbo, threatening our economic recovery.
Woody L. Hunt, Hunt Companies Inc. Board of Directors Senior Chairman and ABIC Co-Chair, said: “I can think of few issues that have united the business community with this sense of urgency as the need for a federal DREAM Act. Every year, Dreamers pay hundreds of millions in tax dollars and inject billions into state and local economies. They work in critical fields like healthcare and education. They start businesses at a rate higher than their US-born peers. It is time to end the uncertainty over their tenuous status and provide some peace of mind to their employers, colleagues, customers, and neighbors. The DREAM Act is a commonsense, bipartisan solution that is long overdue, and I urge Congress to pass it.”
Angel Rodriguez, Dreamer & University of Houston student, said: “As an undocumented student who is ineligible for DACA but who grew up and was educated in the United States, finding opportunities that utilize my skills has been very challenging. I constantly fear that I will need to work in the shadows in jobs that don’t require a social security number and get paid low wages compared to my pedigree. All I want is the chance to prove myself. The Dream and Promise Act would give me the opportunity to obtain a path to citizenship and open doors that would change my life for the better.”
Gris Bailey, President and CEO, Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte (LACCC), said: “The time for bipartisanship is now, and the window is closing fast. That’s why we are calling on the Senate to support this bipartisan legislation. Legalizing Dreamers, TPS holders, and others will serve as a spark plug to restart the U.S. economy. Here in North Carolina, Dreamers, TPS holders and other immigrants power key industries like agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tech, hospitality, tourism and healthcare, and we hope our Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr do what’s best for our economy and our communities. We urge them to support this bipartisan legislation.”
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.