As leaders and representatives of some of Iowa’s most important industries, we are committed to making sure our state’s economy continues to grow and create jobs for all Iowans. From family farms to higher education, and from main street businesses to the Fortune 500, Iowa’s economy relies on all of our hard workers and taxpayers to drive our state forward. That’s why we strongly oppose the decision by the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has helped thousands of young Iowan’s pay their way through school, contribute to our state’s workforce, start new businesses that create jobs, and have the opportunity to call the Hawkeye State home.

Nationwide, there are as many as 1.3 million individuals who are DACA-eligible. The vast majority of them have graduated high school, and more than 90 percent speak English well or better. Collectively, they earn $19.9 billion in total income each year, and contribute more than $3 billion to federal, state and local taxes. Recent data from the Cato Institute estimated that deporting individuals with DACA status would cost the federal government over $60 billion, with an additional $280 billion in lost economic growth over the next decade.

In Iowa alone, as many as 2,798 young people are DACA recipients, the vast majority (an estimated 2,434) of whom are already working and contributing to our state’s key industries. According to a recent study, removing current DACA recipients would cost Iowa more than $188 million 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.

We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act that will allow this population to stay in the U.S. and continue contributing to our workforce. Our future success depends on it. Let’s work together to keep the Iowa economy strong.

Bahls is president of Augustana College. Slavens is CEO of Northwest Bank and Trust. Pilcher is president of Estes Construction. All three are co-chairmen of Q2030 Quad Cities Regional Action Plan. This op-ed was signed by more than 20 business, cultural and educational leaders from across Iowa. 

Angry
1
Sad
0
Funny
0
Wow
0
Love
0