By Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Systems, Inc. and Chair of Business Roundtable’s Immigration Committee
Congress and the White House face a very real deadline to determine the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients — the young “Dreamers” who came to America as children and have called the USA home as long as they can remember.
There are encouraging signs that a bipartisan solution is within reach. The recent White House meeting the President held with Congressional leaders offered new signals for cautious optimism as well as news of an emerging bipartisan agreement among senators.
Business Roundtable, whose members employ Dreamers in communities across the nation, strongly urge leaders in Washington to act now.
For the CEOs of Business Roundtable, the Dreamers are far more than a legislative priority. They are employees, friends, and colleagues — part of the teams that allow our companies to compete on a global basis and create jobs for Americans. Resolving this issue in a way that reflects American values should be one of the top priorities of this new year.
Dreamers grew up in American schools, share American values and are pursuing the American Dream. Despite this history, these young people now face the prospect of losing their legal status and being deported.
Deporting Dreamers would be a terrible mistake with devastating consequences not only for these young people, but also for America’s economic health.
Americans overwhelmingly support a solution to this challenge — nearly three quarters of Americans believe that we should find a way to keep the dreamers here.¹
The President and Congress now have an opportunity to reach across the divide and find a bipartisan consensus solution on DACA. In September, President Trump said about the Dreamers, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated, and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”
Immigrants have always made a powerful contribution to the America that we built together, from courageous service in the Revolutionary War to their role in building the Internet economy.
This generation is no exception. Dreamers are hard-working students, employees and military servicemen and women who are just starting to do much for this great country of ours.
Solving America’s many immigration challenges — controlling our borders, reforming the green card and work-based visa systems and addressing the undocumented — will not be easy. A solution for Dreamers cannot wait — and it is a great place to start in tackling the other immigration issues that matter to our businesses and our country.
A good faith, bipartisan agreement on DACA has the real potential to break the logjam on broader immigration reform and serve as a catalyst to move forward on other challenges facing our nation.
We will continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle to help make this happen.
1. POLITICO / Morning Consult