As we mark a decade since the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, millions of hardworking people—many of whom were essential workers during the pandemic—remain uncertain of their future, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said today, as he urged Congress to act.
What’s happening: The vast majority (94%) of those eligible for DACA, a program that provides two-year deportation deferments for some non-U.S.-born young people, are employed in the country’s workforce, Timmons noted in communication to Congress.
- “More than three-quarters of DACA recipients were essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Timmons said. “In fact, DACA recipients are involved in work across the economy, from construction to hospitality to manufacturing.”
The manufacturing angle: The manufacturing sector, which has nearly 1 million job openings, can’t afford to lose skilled members of its labor pool, according to Timmons.
- “Further disruptions to the legal status of this worker population would be devastating,” he said.
What can be done: Legislators should make moves before the scheduled July 6 Court of Appeals hearings on DACA’s legality, Timmons recommended.
“Congress should act ahead of the courts and legislate to ensure a stable future for this population. We look forward to engaging with [policymakers] as we work towards a solution for these deserving individuals.”