Utah’s business community has joined a growing chorus of concern over President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Trump administration cited economic reasons when explaining its decision to wind down an Obama-era program that protects children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.
But large companies and business groups were among the most critical of the decision this week, including several in Utah.
Kimberly Flores is a spokeswoman for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.
“These are our neighbors, our friends, our employees, and in some cases even our bosses," she says. "These are people that not only add to our society, but also our bottom line.”
The progressive think tank Center for American Progress did a study this year that shows Utah would face a $469 million loss in GDP without the 8,300 DACA workers currently employed in the state.
Flores says Utah would be especially hard hit because of its current labor shortage.
“It’s not that we’re lacking jobs, we’re lacking the employees," she says. "So here in Utah, this population fills the needs that are critical to the success of our Utah companies.”
Flores says it’s long past time for Congress to stop kicking the can down the road and act on sensible reforms.