Politics

Scores of companies tell the Supreme Court that allowing the Trump administration to end DACA will hurt the economy

Key Points
  • Scores of the country's largest businesses tell the Supreme Court that allowing President Trump to end the Obama-era DACA immigration program will hurt the economy and reduce job growth.
  • Starbucks, IBM, Alphabet's Google, Amazon and 138 other businesses weigh in on the economic benefits the program, which protects young immigrants commonly known as "dreamers."
Pro-immigration activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Scores of the country's largest businesses told the Supreme Court on Friday that allowing President Donald Trump to end the Obama-era immigration program known as DACA will hurt the U.S. economy and reduce job growth.

Starbucks, IBM, Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Verizon and 138 other businesses weighed in on the economic benefits the program, which protects young immigrants commonly known as "dreamers," in a friend-of-the court brief submitted to the justices.

"Eliminating DACA will inflict serious harm on U.S. companies, all workers, and the American economy as a whole," the firms wrote. "Companies will lose valued employees. Workers will lose employers and co-workers."

The companies said ending the program could slice up to $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade, and reduce tax revenue by $90 billion. Replacing protected workers will cost businesses $6.3 billion, they said.

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The Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Retail Foundation also signed onto the filing. The brief comes as the global economy shows signs of slowing, even as U.S. unemployment is at a historic low.

Read more: Apple CEO Tim Cook slams Trump's immigration policy in Supreme Court filing

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program shields certain immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to receive work permits. There are approximately 700,000 individuals currently protected by the program.

Trump has attempted to end the program, arguing that former President Barack Obama lacked the authority to implement it, though his efforts have so far been stymied in court. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over the matter in November. A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The companies wrote that if the Trump administration is victorious, the economy will suffer from reduced demand and a further tightening of the labor market, particularly in skilled positions.

"Dreamers have become essential contributors to American companies and the American economy," the companies wrote.

The companies wrote that 72% of the top 25 companies in the Fortune 500 employee dreamers. In addition, those protected by the program have started their own businesses that employ a total of 86,000 people, they wrote.

Some of the companies referred to the contributions of specific employees who are protected by the program. One employee at IBM who is protected by DACA provided critical support to maintain the company's cloud services when Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston, according to the brief.

The companies said that "numbers alone" do not capture what would be lost to businesses if the program is terminated.

"People are the heart of every business; and every company's goal is to create teams that work seamlessly together — teams in which colleagues support one another both within and outside the workplace," the brief said. "Ripping Dreamers out of their jobs hurts not only Dreamers, but other employees who lose friends and colleagues, and companies that lose trusted members of their teams."

The filing comes two days after Apple CEO Tim Cook submitted a brief to the top court also arguing in favor of DACA. In that filing, Apple said it employed 443 dreamers. Apple is not a signatory to Friday's filing.

A decision in the case, which is known as Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, No. 18-587, is expected by the end of June.

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