North Carolina CEOs and Dreamers Urge Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to Back Bipartisan DREAM Act
During panel discussion with North Carolina Dreamers, Hugh McColl, BofA retired Chairman and CEO, Ric Elias, Red Ventures CEO, and Novant Health Chief Community Impact Officer Dr. Phil Brown called for immediate action on DREAM Act
Link to recording here: https://bit.ly/3yJfZqT
Charlotte, NC — With a ruling by Texas U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen expected any day that could end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), North Carolina Dreamers partnered Saturday with business titan Hugh McColl and other civic leaders to highlight the scholastic and career accomplishments of Dreamers, and call on the state’s Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to support the bipartisan Durbin-Graham DREAM Act of 2021. SEE QUOTES BELOW.
The urgent plea by the notable business leaders came during a virtual panel at the Golden Door Scholars annual summit entitled, “Boosting North Carolina’s Economy Through the Bipartisan Durbin-Graham DREAM Act.” The measure would propel the state’s economy and create a path to citizenship for more than 66,000 DACA-eligible individuals who live in North Carolina.
Dreamers, who are Golden Door Scholars, shared their stories of what it means to be Americans in all but paper — studying, working and supporting the economy. North Carolina Dreamers pay nearly $140 million in state and federal taxes, and have a combined spending power of $500 million, boosting businesses big and small as we recover from the pandemic.
McColl, the former Bank of America Chairman and CEO; Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures and founder of the Golden Door Scholars program; and Dr. Phil Brown, Novant Health Chief Community Impact Officer, urged the state’s Senators Tillis and Burr, to back the Dream Act because it is good for the state’s economy, it is the right thing to do, and a majority of Republicans and Democrats support the legislation.
Here are highlights of comments from the panel discussion:
Hugh McColl, the former Bank of America Chairman and co chair of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said: (If given a chance to meet with the senators), “I would tell them that they should take action immediately and they should have the courage to be for what the American people are for….and if they don’t think that, then I want to lead on an attack to get rid of them and get someone who will pay attention to what the American people want. And I’m going to tell them that.”
Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures and founder of the Golden Door Scholars program, said:
“This is a civil rights issue – abandoning Dreamers now would be a violation of basic human rights and a violation of what our country stands for. Every year, hope expires for so many – enough is enough. It is time we make the right decision, right now, and support our Dreamers once and for all. Most Americans believe supporting Dreamers is the right thing to do and the right time is right now. Put politics aside and do what the American people are asking you to do. Make a decision that will make your children and grandchildren proud.”
Dr. Phil Brown, Novant Health Chief Community Impact Officer, said:
“I would ask our Senators, how can you, in good conscience, sacrifice the future of innovation and our future prosperity by excluding such a group of important people – people that have always been part of us?”
Vrinda, DREAMER and Golden Door Scholar Alumnae, said:
“GDS and my internship at Red Ventures helped me gain confidence and helped me see I was more than my status.”
Rebecca Shi, American Business Immigration Coalition Executive Director and moderator, said: “As an undocumented worker, my ma worked in Chinese restaurants and the tips she made put me through the University of Chicago. Today Ma is a confident U.S. citizen. At the age of 63, she returned to the medical profession treating illnesses like Tumors and Ulcers. My Ma’s example shows that when you legalize people who are contributing, you unleash their economic potential.”
ABOUT GOLDEN DOOR SCHOLARS
Golden Door Scholars is a nonprofit founded in 2013 to invest in education and career access for high-performing DACA students. GDS currently supports 276 students enrolled at over 100 colleges and an additional 189 scholars who have earned their degrees and are in graduate programs or working in highly technical roles at companies including Google, Bank of America, and Red Ventures. Learn more at www.goldendoorscholars.org.
ABOUT ABIC OF THE CAROLINAS
The Carolinas Chapter of the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes sensible immigration reform that supports the economy of The Carolinas by providing American companies with both the high-skilled and “low-skilled” talent they need, and allow the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
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.