With the looming elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on March 5, 2018, many employers face the prospect of losing employees who fill key roles within their organizations. Some of these employees may have self-identified as DACA recipients to their employer, but others may not have done so.
Employers are prohibited by Department of Justice regulations from discriminating against potential DACA recipients by making improper inquiries into such status, meaning a large degree of uncertainty is still likely to exist in worksites across the United States. Employers will not have time to fully plan for workforce disruptions when these employees have to leave the workforce on or after March 5 if the DACA deadline is enforced and Congress doesn’t take action.
SHRM and the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) have always believed a legislative resolution would be most effective and lasting for the individuals covered by DACA. That’s why we call upon Congress to pass a timely bipartisan solution that is good for our economy and improves the security of our immigration system.
On December 6, national and state organizations including SHRM and CFGI will join together to launch a virtual march for a bipartisan solution. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would provide DACA recipients protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain legal status if they meet certain requirements. On the day of the iMarch, we want our immigration reform message to raise awareness of this important issue. To follow and support the initiative on Twitter use hashtag #iMarch. In addition, follow me @SHRMBirbal and CFGI’s Director of Government Affairs, Rebecca Peters @CFGIPeters and @Global_imm for the latest public policy efforts on employment-based immigration.
Here are a few facts regarding the DACA population contributions to the U.S. workforce and economy:
- An overwhelming majority of the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients are currently integrated into U.S. workplaces in all industries and occupations throughout the country. Taking work authorization away from people who grew up and were educated in the United States would have a substantial negative impact on our economy and the employers who count on these talented employees.
- According to New American Economy, the current DACA-eligible population contributes $3 billion in taxes at the federal, state and local levels each year, has almost $16.8 billion in spending power and contributes almost $2 billion to Social Security and almost $470 million to Medicare annually.
- According to New American Economy survey of DACA-eligible population in September 2017, 90 percent of respondents were employed. Other surveys revealed that 21 percent of respondents work in educational and health services, 11 percent work in the nonprofit sector, 9 percent work in wholesale and retail trades and 8 percent in professional and business services.
By tackling the issue effectively now, we believe Congress can build momentum that leads to solutions to other important immigration challenges facing our nation. Learn more about the solutions SHRM and CFGI support to reform of our immigration system in fair, innovative and competitive ways.