For immediate release
Startup Ecosystem Immigration Letter to Congress
August 10, 2021
Speaker Nancy Pelosi U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
Leader Charles Schumer U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510
Leader Kevin McCarthy U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
Leader Mitch McConnell U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell
As leading members of the U.S. startup ecosystem一incubators, accelerators, support organizations, and companies一responsible for significant job and economic growth, we write to you concerning the recent Fifth Circuit ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which finds the program unlawful. We form the fabric of the innovation ecosystem across the country, some of us immigrants ourselves, and we urge U.S. policymakers to swiftly enact a permanent solution for Dreamers. Without Dreamers—many of whom represent STEM talent on which startups rely or are founders themselves—the U.S. risks the dynamism and diversity central to our position as a leader in innovation.
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. 1 They are business leaders, and launch new businesses at rates that outpace native-born Americans. 2 They are job creators一businesses launched by DACA recipients employ an estimated 86,000 workers across the country. 3 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. 4 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.
Innovation is central to the American experience, and Dreamers play a critical role in our diverse startup ecosystem. Policymakers must ensure that Dreamers have the safety and security they need so that the U.S. can continue to remain a leading hub for startup growth and innovation, embracing founders and talent that have spent most of their lives calling the U.S. home.
76 Forward (f.k.a. 1776)
A Kids Book About Inc ACME
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Empathy Rocks, Inc.
Latinx Startup Alliance
Lithic Technology LLC
Little Sous, Inc.
Loop & Tie Lovely
PIE PIONEERS 21
Southern Cross Venture Partners
Sparklehorse Media LLC
The Coworking Center
Upgraded Technologies Inc
1 FWD.us, The Impact of DACA Program Repeal on AmericanJobs, https://www.fwd.us/news/daca-impact-report/.
2 Tim K. Wong, et al, DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake ThisNovember (Sept. 19, 2019), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2019/09/19/474636/daca-recipients-livelihoods-families -sense-security-stake-november/; New American Economy, DACA-Eligible Entrepreneurs Earned More Than $658.7 Million in Total Business Income in 2015 (Jan. 31, 2018), https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/press-release/daca-eligible-entrepreneurs-earned-more-than-658-7-million-in-to tal-business-income-in-2015/.
3 Claudia Flores and Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Why DACA Matters (April 29, 2021), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2021/04/29/498944/why-daca-matters/.
4 TheDream.us, America’s DREAMers: What You Need to Know About this Growing Diverse Talent Pool (June 2020), https://www.thedream.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/TheDream.US-Career-Connections-Employer-Fact-Sheet-Jun e-2020.pdf. 3 Claudia Flores and Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Why DACA Matters (April 29, 2021), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2021/04/29/498944/why-daca-matters/. 2 Tim K. Wong, et al, DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake ThisNovember (Sept. 19, 2019), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2019/09/19/474636/daca-recipients-livelihoods-families -sense-security-stake-november/; New American Economy, DACA-Eligible Entrepreneurs Earned More Than $658.7 Million in Total Business Income in 2015 (Jan. 31, 2018), https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/press-release/daca-eligible-entrepreneurs-earned-more-than-658-7-million-in-to tal-business-income-in-2015/. 1 FWD.us, The Impact of DACA Program Repeal on AmericanJobs, https://www.fwd.us/news/daca-impact-report/.