Arizona business and industry leaders released an open letter Friday addressed to the Arizona Congressional Delegation, opposing the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The group cited economic data compiled by New American Economy on the DACA-eligible population in the state, and called on the delegation to pass meaningful legislation that allows "dreamers" to stay and contribute to the Arizona economy.
"In Arizona alone, as many as 39,682 young people are DACA-eligible, the vast majority — an estimated 87.9% — of whom are already working and contributing to our state’s key industries," the letter states. "These individuals pay a total of $40 million in state and local taxes, and according to a recent study, removing DACA holders would cost Arizona more than $1.3 billion in GDP every year. These young people are crucial to our state’s economic future, and it makes business sense to keep them in the country and allow them to work here."
The cohort of state leaders, which includes Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lea Márquez Peterson, will lead the charge to mobilize signatures and support from additional conservative and business voices across the state.
Other members of the cohort are Tina Beattie, vice president of Top Line Restaurants and chairwoman of ConservAmerica, Gonzalo De La Melena, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Joe Sigg, chief administrative officer of the Arizona Farm Bureau, and Nick Stavros, CEO of Community Medical Services.