FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2020
LOS ANGELES — Today, UNITE-LA is appreciative of the United States Supreme Court's narrow ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We are overjoyed for immigration advocates and more importantly, for over 700,000 young immigrants and their families who are ready to work, contribute to our economy and society. This is a victory for our nation but there is still much work left to do. Today's decision protects Dreamers temporarily, but we are still in need of permanent immigration legislation for young immigrants.
"UNITE-LA is thrilled about the Supreme Court's decision to rightly protect the hard-working Dreamers who have become entrepreneurs, homebuyers and have significantly contributed to our federal, state and local economies," said David Rattray, President & CEO of UNITE-LA.
Rattray continued, "At a time of much social despair, this is a needed win for our movement. Dreamers grew up in the United States, attended school or served in the military, started careers and have raised their own families. Their home is here. The DACA program opened doors but we need to ensure that they continue to have access to higher education and an opportunity to work and contribute to the economy of this country."
The 2012 Obama era decision provided relief and the right to legally work for undocumented immigrant students. According to a just released report from the New American Economy, New Americans in Los Angeles, the growth in the immigrant population has helped strengthen America's labor force. Younger immigrants (many DACA recipients) are filling critical gaps in the market, particularly healthcare workers, where they make up about 40 percent of the workforce.
Nationally, immigrants are more likely to hold an advanced degree than those born in the U.S. In many cities across the country, their unique educational profile allows immigrants to fill labor shortages at both ends of the skill spectrum.
This Supreme Court decision did not enshrine DACA into the law, but instead decided that its revocation was inconsistent with the law, as written. We must continue to urge congress to create a clear path to citizenship for undocumented youth who are vital members of our communities and have a profound impact on our economy. DACA recipients own 59,000 homes and pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes.
Rattray concluded, "It should be noted this decision is pivotal for the health of our country. Dreamers are a significant part of our country's future potential for a just, equitable society and economy. We must have Congress do right by our Dreamers and enact DACA into law."
Over the past 20 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Visit www.unitela.com.