Dear President Trump: I am writing to express how important the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is to the strength of our national economy, and to our position as the global leader of innovation and technological advancement.
The Leadership Group was founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard and represents more than 365 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers. Leadership Group member companies collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley, and we have a long history of supporting policies that promote innovation, stronger economic growth and improved transportation.
DACA recipients constitute the next generation of tech workers who are currently being educated in America’s school system. At present, our nation does not produce enough computer science, analytics and engineering graduates to meet job demand from tech companies. Yet one quarter of DACA recipients are pursuing post-secondary education. These “DREAMers” represent a domestic source of intellectual capital that will work in different tech jobs, from start-ups to global corporations.
Immigration has long been a source of strength for America’s innovation economy, and DACA recipients contribute to this economic vitality. A recent survey revealed that more than half of American start-ups valued at $1 billion or more were founded by immigrants. Immigration policies like DACA help ensure that we are able to continue to retain the best global talent. DREAMers will be an important part of the tech community that will cultivate emerging industries like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and cybersecurity.
Immigration sustains our innovation economy and helps grow American jobs. We urge you to maintain and protect the DACA program.
Carl Guardino President and CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group