Issue Report ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
November 28, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
With only a few legislative days remaining before the end of the year, Congress must pass the DREAM Act to provide DREAMers with the certainty they can remain here and contribute to our nation’s economy and future. Already, an estimated 10,088 DREAMers have lost their DACA protections, and approximately 122 DREAMers will lose their DACA protection each day that Congress fails to pass the DREAM Act from now until March 5, 2018. Here’s a look at what’s at stake for our economy and communities across the country if Congress fails to pass the DREAM Act:
 
THE ECONOMY
 
According to a report by FWD.us, failure to pass the DREAM Act will mean 1,716 jobs will be lost daily after March 6th.
 
A report by the Center for American Progress found that failure to pass the DREAM Act would hurt our economy and affect all fifty states:
  • U.S. gross domestic product would be reduced by $460.3 billion over the following 10 years;
  • An estimated 685,000 workers would be removed from our economy; and
  • All fifty states would lose eligible employees.
 
The right-leaning CATO Institute also found that ending DACA would place a substantial burden on employers:
  • Rescinding DACA will cost employers $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs, including recruiting, hiring, and training 720,000 new employees.
  • Every week for the next two years, U.S. employers will have to terminate 6,914 employees who currently participate in DACA at a weekly cost of $61 million.
EDUCATION
 
DACA has enabled DREAMers to attend higher education institutions and access financial assistance. In fact, one-fifth of DACA recipients are currently enrolled in higher education classes and another third are in high school. Higher education officials agree passing the DREAM Act and allowing DREAMer students to continue their education is the right thing to do:
 
College Presidents from George Mason University, Georgetown University, Montgomery College and Northern Virginia Community College: “We call upon Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act so that these talented and hardworking students, brought here as children by parents who only wished for a better life, are able to get the shot at success and the American dream that they so rightfully deserve.” [The Hill, 10/16/17]
 
American Council on Education: “In order to lift this cloud of fear, we ask that you commit to allowing these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue to work and study while your administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution. The higher education community is eager to work with you to find a path forward.” [Letter signed by 560 college presidents, 3/16/17]
 
The Education Trust: “We call upon you, immediately, to take up and pass the Dream Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would offer protection to these young people and allow them to take part in our economy and society. That is the only appropriate response to President Trump’s announcement.” [Letter to Congress signed by 64 higher education advocacy organizations, 9/6/17]
 
In addition, according to USA Today , the U.S. could lose an estimated 20,000 teachers, many bilingual, as DACA is phased out:
 
“Losing that many teachers would have a huge impact on kids, said Viridiana Carrizales of Teach For America, the elite teacher-preparation program that has begun advocating for the program. ‘We cannot afford to lose so many teachers and impact so many students,’ she said. ‘Every time a student loses a teacher, that is a disruption in the student’s learning.’” [USA Today, 10/11/17]
 
A number of teachers and school officials have discussed the adverse impact of losing teachers who have been able to stay in the United States under the DACA program:
 
Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD superintendent: “We discovered that these DACA teachers grew up in this community...We saw this as a great win. These are local kids teaching our kids…I would really like Congress to handle this once and for all so that it is no longer in the hands of the president.” [Dallas News, 10/5/17]
 
Karen Reyes, DACA teacher in Austin, Texas: “It’s been playing with our emotions…This could potentially be my last year teaching.” [Dallas News, 10/5/17]
 
Viridiana Carrizales, who runs a national DACA program for Teach for America: “Imagine a student who fears for their parents and now there is another layer that it could be their teacher…” [Dallas News, 10/5/17]
 
HEALTH CARE
 
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports there will be a doctor shortage of more than 100,000 by 2030, and a recent Washington Post op-ed highlights how ending DACA “will only make the crisis worse.” Anirudh Rao, an Internal Medicine-Pediatrics physician practicing in Baltimore, Maryland, wrote:
 
“… More than 25 percent of America’s doctors are immigrants, and if DACA continues, the program will add roughly 5,400 physicians who would otherwise be ineligible to work in the United States over the next few decades... As that trend continues, it will only exacerbate the doctor shortage, which is most acute in underserved communities — places where DACA recipients who go into the medical profession are also more likely to work.”
 
MILITARY SERVICE
 
According to USA Today, approximately 900 DREAMers currently serve in the military and are enlisted in a pilot project called “Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest.” The group includes doctors, nurses, and service members with proficiency in a language considered to be of strategic importance. National security leaders agree we must pass the DREAM Act to protect these military DREAMers who are defending our nation:
 
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: “More than 800 so-called Dreamers who received temporary authorization to stay and work in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, recently revoked by President Trump, are now serving in the armed forces.. Let us honor them this Veterans Day. But let’s also give them a pathway to citizenship. Our military will be the better for it. So will the country.” [NY Times, 11/8/17]
 
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: “Even if Trump were to have a last-minute change of heart on DACA, the best protection for dreamers would be for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to agree to allow the Bipartisan Dream Act — co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Durbin — to be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act. Our nation’s first line of defense is our people. Dreamers are part of that line of defense.” [Washington Post Op-ed, 9/4/17]
 
Congress must act before the end of the year to pass the DREAM Act, a bipartisan, bicameral solution to protect DREAMers who know no other country than this one. Democrats will continue to urge Republicans to bring the bill to the Floor so that these talented, hardworking individuals can remain here and have a pathway to citizenship.

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