Washington. Dozens of business leaders have warned Congress of a "crisis" in the economy unless lawmakers pass legislation to protect young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
In a letter to congressional leaders released Thursday, more than 80 business leaders said their businesses would be affected if protections for the Child Arrest Deferral Program were revoked.
Earlier this month, a federal appeals court ruled against a ten-year program that allowed thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to avoid deportation and work legally.
Business leaders say removing DACA protections would exacerbate labor shortages that have plagued the economy for months. Signatories include Amazon, Apple, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, Target and Verizon. The group said it placed the letter in a full-page ad in Thursday's editions of the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer .
"Labor shortages in the United States will worsen if tens of thousands of essential workers are deprived of the ability to support themselves and their families," company executives wrote. "We will currently face this situation if this decision becomes final and that is the reason for our request today."
The News' ad featured the logos of a dozen Texas-based commercial companies or organizations, including the private equity firm TPG, the North Texas Commission, the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and the Texas Retailers Association. and Texas. Association.
A jury in three U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the Department of Homeland Security lacked authority to protect these immigrants under DACA and found that the program violated the intent of Congress in drafting the immigration law.
The court's latest ruling is another blow to the DACA program, which has faced legal challenges from Republican states for years. The court upheld a ruling that allowed current DACA beneficiaries to resume their protections, but blocked new applicants. He sent the case to a lower court to consider new Biden administration rules designed to strengthen the litigation process.
Eventually, the DACA challenge could go to the Supreme Court, which has a 6 to 3 conservative majority that could end the program created under the Obama administration.
If DACA beneficiaries' work permits expire, the U.S. could lose more than half a million jobs and up to $11.7 billion in former immigrant workers, business leaders say.
"By comparison, in Texas alone, 400 health care workers and 300 teachers will be forced to quit each month," the business leaders wrote.
The court's decision prompted calls for action from Democratic lawmakers in Congress who have been trying for months to pass immigration legislation. Their efforts have been thwarted by Republicans who have little interest in jeopardizing immigration at a time when border crossings are on the rise.
The Senate has yet to pass a House-approved bill that would grant permanent status to DACA beneficiaries and other undocumented immigrants, young people who came to the U.S. as children after 2007.
However, the midterm elections are just weeks away from enacting immigration protections in the wake of Congress' annual defense policy bill, public spending bill and other measures. With Republicans favored to win the House of Representatives, the chances of a deal in the next Congress are slim.