Sabrina Rodriguez, Politico, June 14, 2022
More than a dozen GOP donors are trying a new tack in urging Republican congressional leaders to get serious about granting so-called Dreamers legal status: it’ll help ease inflation and the U.S. labor shortage.
In a letter being sent Wednesday to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 14 donors who call themselves “life-long Republicans” said that reaching a deal on immigration that provides permanent legal status to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children “makes economic sense.”
“Improving border security and providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers is not only morally right; it is also absolutely crucial to addressing labor shortages, reducing food prices and creating jobs for all American families,” the donors wrote in the letter, organized by the American Business Immigration Coalition and shared first with POLITICO.
Congress remains unlikely and unable to reach any kind of immigration deal that would garner enough Republican support to pass the Senate. Last year, the Senate parliamentarian rejected multiple attempts from Democrats to include immigration reform in their party-line social spending bill. Republican leaders have expressed little interest in Democrats’ attempts at immigration reform.
In the letter, the donors outlined the economic contributions of Dreamers and said ending DACA would cause “untold devastation” for every industry that has relied on their work.
“Taking hundreds of thousands out of the labor force will further fuel inflation, exacerbate supply chain challenges and tip the economy into recession,” they wrote. It also would curb the nation’s “global contest to attract and retain talent.”
“Our policies must allow us to compete for the workers we need to fuel our economy and retain the young talent that already exists here but lacks the security of permanent legal status,” the group wrote.
With Republicans expected to take the House next year, the politics of granting Dreamers a path to legal status could get harder come 2023, not easier.
Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said the recent bipartisan deal reached on guns, however, renewed some optimism that there is space for both parties to strike a deal on immigration.