The below is a copy of the letter The silicon valley organization mailed to President Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Senator Chuck Schumer:

Dear President Trump:

On behalf of Silicon Valley business leaders and community members, we strongly encourage you and your administration to support the BRIDGE Act, a bi-partisan effort extending the temporary protection from deportation and work authorization for nearly 750,000 young men and women under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

While the BRIDGE Act does not provide a pathway to citizenship it does allow immigrants to continue contributing to the American economy. This temporary three-year legislative fix would allow hard working immigrants to continue working, paying taxes, buying homes, taking out loans, and enrolling in our education systems. These factors translate into state revenue, increased consumer purchasing power, and a healthy robust workforce.

We strongly believe immigrants have a lasting and positive impact on our economy; in fact, almost half of San Jose’s residents are foreign born or are children of immigrants and many of the Fortune 500 companies that make up Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants and their children. Repealing the DACA program without a viable substitute would be disastrous for our state’s – and indeed the national – economy as nearly 30 percent of eligible DACA recipients live in California. Pulling protections from these individuals and forcing them back into unprotected status would jeopardize the futures of many young and educated aspiring Americans.

We remain deeply concerned over the costs of what such an abrupt repeal would mean, as current estimates show an impact of nearly $283 billion dollars over a decade towards the American economy. In contrast, the positive effects individuals have made under DACA are widespread. Around 6 percent of DACA recipients have started their own business after receiving work authorization, which is close to double the average startup rate of the typical American and nearly double that of the entire immigrant population. Additionally, an impressive 95 percent of DACA recipients are either working or enrolled in school, offering a glimpse into how entrepreneurial and industrious those individuals are when given a chance to succeed. We should be encouraging immigrants and their families to ‘buy in’ to the American economy rather than pushing them out.

For these and other reasons, we believe the BRIDGE Act could stand-in as a common-sense alternative to DACA. The BRIDGE Act would allow Congress time to address our immigration systems needs in a way that adequately reflects our present economic and national security realities.

Co-authored by:

Matthew R. Mahood, President & CEO, The silicon valley organization

Magdalena Carrasco, Vice Mayor, City of San Jose

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