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World

AFP
January 12, 2018

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US companies urge Congress to help ‘Dreamers’

WASHINGTON: Over 100 major US companies joined forces to urge Congress to protect immigrants brought to the country as children, signing a letter published in full-page ads in major newspapers Thursday.

The companies called for immediate action to help workers who will lose the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in March. Chief executives of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple — together known as GAFA — were joined by those from IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, General Motors, AT&T, Marriott, Hilton and dozens of others signing the letter calling for protection for the “Dreamers.”

President Donald Trump announced in September he was scrapping the program, but with a six-month lag — meaning those covered by DACA would be subject to deportation starting March.

“We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so,” they said in the letter published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. “The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country.” The letter echoes concerns of analysts and businesses who say the economy could lose $215 billion in GDP if the 800,000 Dreamers leave the labor pool, at a time when many firms are finding it hard to fill open positions. “In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs,” the letter said.

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