Today, we are joining the Coalition for the American Dream, an alliance of businesses and industry leaders seeking the passage of legislation that gives roughly 800,000 Dreamers working, going to school, and serving in our nation’s military the security to continue doing what they’re already doing for this country.
The Coalition’s mission is seeking the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act or similar legislation this year that gives these young unauthorized immigrants that have been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program the permanent solution they deserve.
If Congress fails to act, our economy would lose more than $215 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. Those figures are proof positive that Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. And they are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.
“As a business leader, I’ve seen firsthand how diversity is good for business – a diverse organization will outperform a homogenous one every time. That’s why our country has to remain inclusive,” said Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co. “We must protect the Dreamers and their aspirations to seize the opportunities America affords, and invest their talent back into our economy. It will make us all stronger. We urge Congress to find a permanent solution that will let Dreamers continue to work, study and live in the United States.”
LS&Co. has a long history of standing up for equality, civil rights and social justice in the communities where we live and work. Last month, we joined nearly 800 entrepreneurs and business leaders in an open letter calling on Congress to pass the DREAM Act or a permanent legislative solution. Through our Levi Strauss Foundation, we have pledged $1 million in grants to organizations that protect the civil liberties of marginalized communities. Two of those recipients — Define America and United We Dream — are on the front lines of efforts to protect Dreamers.
We stand with Coalition members – including the National Retail Federation, Hilton, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Chobani, and Best Buy, among many others – in advocating on behalf of Dreamers, who also happen to be American taxpayers. And we urge Congress to act accordingly.
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