Leaders Push Congress Beasts

Leaders Push Congress to Pass Bipartisan DREAM Act

Salesforce, Google, and Hewlett-Packard are among many companies speaking up in support of immigrants.

New Sincerity’s Michael Rolph is one of the hundreds of CEOs — including Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard and Marc Benioff of Salesforce — who’ve signed an open letter to Congress, urging that they pass the DREAM Act – a piece of legislation that would give DACA recipients a pathway to permanent residency. Money talks, so seeing those with clout stand up for our DREAMers is very encouraging.

If you’re confused as to why this is so very important (it gets tricky!), here’s a quick recap: Earlier this month President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but offered a 6-month buffer for Congress to offer a counter-solution. DACA, as you may know, is the program that allows residents that were brought to the US illegally as minors to gain work and study permits as adults and be protected from deportation. This also means they become dues-paying residents of the country. If DACA ends, its 800,000 recipients would be at high risk of deportation and their economic contribution could go, essentially, *poof*!

 

 

The letter states that if we lose these residents, the “economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.”

The DREAM Act (first introduced in 2001) has come back into the limelight as a solution and even has the potential support of Congressional Republicans and, perhaps, Trump himself. (Here’s more info on 3 bills with varying degrees of Republican support that could protect DREAMers.)

Big name companies are coming out of the woodwork to maintain pressure on our representatives. Businesses focused on growth and innovation rely on new perspectives and ideas – immigrants are a big piece of that. They (and we) are not willing to give that up.

The letter continues to state that “at least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.”

 

DACA Lives
Photo: Source Unknown

 

Here’s the most recent version of the letter, in full (as seen on FWD.us):

– – –

September 20, 2017
To: Speaker Paul Ryan; Leader Nancy Pelosi; Leader Mitch McConnell; and Leader Charles E. Schumer

With the rescission of the DACA program, it is urgent that Congress immediately pass the bipartisan Dream Act- or similar legislation – that gives Dreamers the permanent legislative solution they deserve.

Without a permanent legislative solution before next March, roughly 800,000 DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and study legally, will be forced from their jobs, and will be subject to immediate deportation. Further, without congressional action, our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.

Congressional action and a permanent legislative solution is the only path forward to prevent these devastating consequences. This is urgent, and we only have a few months to act.

All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes. More than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.

Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.

We urge both parties in Congress to work together to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or similar legislation that gives Dreamers the permanent legislation they deserve.

Beasts

Claudette Colvin, Original Woman Who Refused to Give Up Her Seat

Before Rosa Parks sat down, there was Claudette.

Most history books forget that Claudette Colvin is an African-American who refused to give up her seat on the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks.

It was March 2nd, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, when Colvin paid her fare and refused to get up from the seat for a white woman. She’d been studying Black history in high school that month and felt inspired by Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. She felt the spirit of those two women pushing her down in her seat, telling her not to give it up.

“All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily,” Colvin told NPR. She was put in handcuffs and taken to the local jail.

 

Claudette Colvin, age 15.

 

After the incident, her civil disobedience didn’t make much of a splash. She was young and soon became pregnant. Because of this, her courageous act went all but unnoticed for many years. In fact, people began to think of her as a ‘troublemaker’ within her community and she had difficulty finding employment, and soon moved to New York.

While the court decided she was guilty in her legal case and she was given probation, Colvin did go on to serve as a plaintiff in the historic Browder v. Gayle legal case, which ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott and segregation on public buses in the city.

Many think if it wasn’t for Colvin, the media wouldn’t have paid much attention to Rosa Parks and the movement that followed. For this, we offer her immense gratitude.

If you want to learn the rest of her story, peep her interview with Teen Vogue here. Then go read Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, authored by Phil Hoose.

 

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