Letter to the Editor: Dreamers are in jeopardy, and Congress must act now to protect them

Michelle Zimmerman

For more than a decade, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has provided security and support for hundreds of thousands of immigrants while simultaneously giving our economy a boost and providing our industries with more skilled workers. Unfortunately, the fate of the policy remains in jeopardy, as the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision upholding the previous court’s rulings that the policy is illegal. This puts the protections of recipients at risk and Congress must urgently act to provide Dreamers with a permanent legislative solution.

The positive impact immigrants have on our community is undeniable. Not only do these community members enrich Summit County, they also contribute to our economy by working in positions that are essential to keeping our community running, like in medical fields and for local nonprofits. 

This positive impact is echoed throughout Colorado. There are over 14,000 DACA recipients in our state, with 61% already working in our labor force and more planning to follow suit by pursuing education in colleges and universities. These individuals have created prosperous lives here, and their successes are our successes, too. If DACA were to end, it would cost us $856.9 million annually in gross domestic product losses, and our workforce would lose up to 500 workers monthly.

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper have been strong supporters of our economy and must act quickly by passing permanent legislative protections for Dreamers this year before it is too late.

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