Earlier this week, Voqal joined Engine and over 70 other organizations in a letter to Congress that implores the body to create a path to citizenship for Dreamers (also known as DACA recipients). Dreamers are young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, who have lived and gone to school here, and who in many cases identify as American.
Immigrants are a vital part of the U.S. startup ecosystem and have an unparalleled impact in tech and startup industries. They found new businesses at higher rates than native-born Americans. Over 50% of unicorn startups have at least one immigrant founder. And DACA recipients themselves are overwhelmingly entrepreneurial with 6% of recipients under the age of 25 starting businesses.
The recent federal ruling pegging DACA as unlawful, not only bars this innovation any further, it hurts the United States’ diverse startup ecosystem as a whole. If the U.S. wants to remain a global hub and a leader for innovation, policymakers must prioritize the safety and security of dreamers.
An excerpt from the letter is below:
Entrepreneurs have long recognized the importance of Dreamers. They make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, with reports estimating that a repeal of DACA would lead to a $460 billion loss in GDP over a decade. They are business leaders and launch new businesses at rates that outpace native-born Americans. They are job creators 一 businesses launched by DACA recipients employ an estimated 86,000 workers across the country. And Dreamers represent a significant portion of a much-needed talent pool in the U.S., serving critical roles in STEM fields including in healthcare and engineering. Failing to ensure a permanent solution for those that have contributed so much to the innovation ecosystem is both wrong and bad economic policy.
It is imperative that Congress passes legislation providing legal certainty — including a pathway to citizenship — for Dreamers. Without subsequent legislative action, the ruling prevents thousands of individuals from emerging from the shadows, inhibiting their ability to legally work and contribute to the only country many Dreamers have ever known. And for those who still have DACA protections, the possibility of future legal efforts and no legislative solution in sight means their lives continue to be mired with uncertainty.
Voqal believes that providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers is key to building the more socially equitable country we work every day to help make a reality.
Read the full letter here.