Investors to Congress: Bipartisan Dream Act is Both a Business and Moral Imperative
In letter, investors warn of economic consequences should Congress fail to pass comprehensive and just immigration reform to protect “Dreamers”.
NEW YORK, NY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017 – A group of 112 institutional investors representing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) announced that they have sent a letter to Congress requesting immediate action on the Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440, S.1615), a “clean”, bi-partisan bill unfettered by other amendments, that protects the immigration status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DACA status has been granted to roughly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. On September 5th, President Trump’s administration announced that DACA would end unless Congress acts to extend or replace the program by March 5, 2018 – at which point DACA recipients' work permits will begin to expire at a rate of around 1,000 per day. The letter states:
As investors, we are concerned that the failure to pass a “clean” Dream Act will be detrimental to the businesses we invest in, as well as the larger business environment. At least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients. If DACA recipients permanently lose their legal status, the businesses in which we invest will lose qualified, trained workers and face billions of dollars in turnover costs.
Said Heidi Soumerai of Walden Asset Management, “As investors and fiduciaries we recognize the need for just immigration reforms to safeguard the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers who help drive U.S. businesses and economic prosperity. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, the end of DACA could result in the loss of as much as $460 billion from the U.S. national GDP over the next decade, would reduce tax revenue by $60 billion, and would remove an estimated 685,000 workers from the American economy.”
The investors note that many businesses have written to Congress in support of the Dream Act citing that “at least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients as their employees.”
“We are calling for principled action from our nation’s lawmakers. Individuals who are now part of our communities, society, and economy - whether through the DACA program or other programs like Temporary Protected Status which is also at risk - should have legal status and certainty so they may continue to live in the United States.” said Mary Beth Gallagher of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment.
Said Josh Zinner, ICCR’s CEO, “Beyond the significant and long-term economic consequences of ending DACA, as responsible investors we see passage of the Dream Act as an urgent moral imperative. For “Dreamers” who came to the U.S. as children, our country is the only “homeland” they have ever known. As contributing members of their communities and the broader American society we owe them the respect that implies.”
About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
Celebrating its 46th year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of shareholder advocates who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for social change. Its 300 member organizations comprise faith communities, socially responsible asset managers, unions, pensions, NGOs and other socially responsible investors with combined assets of over $400 billion. ICCR members engage hundreds of corporations annually in an effort to foster greater corporate accountability. www.iccr.org