Linda Chavez, Director and Spokeswoman for the Becoming American Initiative, released the following statement in preparation for this week’s immigration votes:
The Becoming American Initiative was launched to help promote understanding of the positive impact of immigrants on our society. Immigrants make up some 17 percent of the workforce and are vital to the health of the U.S. economy, occupying jobs across the skills spectrum. The current crisis precipitated by the administration’s decision to end the DACA program, which gives legal status to those brought here illegally as children, will deprive America of hundreds of thousands of talented young people currently in the workforce, higher education or the military. Congress should not use legislation aimed at fixing DACA as a bargaining chip to lower legal immigration. With an aging population, a declining birth rate, and a growing labor shortage, cutting legal immigration will harm America. Congress should focus instead on granting DACA recipients legal status and a path to citizenship so that they can continue to contribute to the country they call home.