North Carolina Business Leaders Applaud Durbin-Graham Bipartisan Dream Act
The Dream Act would protect 55,700 eligible Dreamers in North Carolina, who collectively pay $35.7 million annually in state and local taxes and bring $415.4 million in total spending power.
Charlotte, NC — Today, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a new version of the Dream Act, which would provide a pathway to lawful status to almost 2 million Dreamers, including 55,700 in North Carolina. Dreamers are young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Hugh McColl, Bank of America Retired Chairman and CEO said: “Employers recognize the economic contributions Dreamers make to our state and country. We recognize their importance in growing our economy, and we applaud Senators Durbin and Graham for leading a bipartisan Dream Act to protect nearly 56,000 Dreamers that call North Carolina home. This is a bipartisan issue that requires support from all corners of NC leadership.”
Bob Page, Replacements, Ltd. Chairman and CEO said: “We applaud Senator Durbin and Senator Graham’s bipartisan efforts to pass the Dream Act. Dreamers are an integral part of North Carolina communities and workforces. They are hard-working and family-focused. They are invested in our country and its future, and they need permanent protections now. America is the only home they know. We urge Senator Tillis and Senator Burr to support the Durbin-Graham Dream Act.”
Martin Eakes, Self Help FCU CEO said: “At Self Help, Dreamers are our clients and employees. They are our homeowners and entrepreneurs. If the United States wants to continue attracting and retaining top talent and to give our companies a competitive edge, then we need to stop kicking the immigration reform issue down the road. Now we are looking to North Carolina leaders in Congress to join the bipartisan Dream Act not just for our young immigrants but for the many other jobs that they support.”
The Bipartisan Dream Act bill would create a conditional permanent resident status for these immigrants, allowing them to work and protecting them from deportation. If they meet certain conditions — pass a rigorous background and law enforcement check; maintain continued U.S. residency; graduate from high school or obtain a GED; pursue higher education; work lawfully for at least three years or serve in the military; maintain English and knowledge of US History — they can transition to lawful permanent resident status.
The Dream Act is economically important and critical to pandemic recovery. DACA recipients have been on the frontlines of pandemic response. Almost 200,000 are essential workers with almost 30,000 healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses. The Dream Act would protect 55,700 eligible Dreamers in North Carolina, who collectively pay $35.7 million annually in state and local taxes and bring $415.4 million in total spending power.
Support for lawful status for Dreamers has grown since its introduction 20 years ago — 79% of all voters and 69% of Trump voters support providing a lawful status for Dreamers. Growing caucus of GOP senators already support lawful status for dreamers, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).