New numbers show Republicans, including Trump voters, support legislation for increased border security in exchange for a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Many Utah businesses and GOP leaders support the compromise.
The DACA eligible population in Utah contributes $13.1 million in state and local taxes. Derrick Miller, President and CEO of World Trade Center Utah, said 91 percent of undocumented workers are employed and filling worker shortages.
“We still cannot keep up with the job growth that our terrific companies are creating,” Miller said. “That is one more important reason why we need immigration reform out of Washington D.C.”
Miller said Utah’s economy is a three-percent-unemployment economy, which means companies need more workers.
According to a poll by the New American Economy and Target Points, this could be part of the reason many Republicans want a pathway to citizenship for dreamers. 80 percent of conservative and Republican voters are supporting border security in exchange to provide Dreamers with a pathway to remain in the U.S. Only 13 percent oppose the idea.
Eighty-six percent of Trump’s base support that same compromise, 10 percent oppose the idea.
“I was impressed with these poll results,” said Utah State Senator Todd Weiler. “They clearly show that there’s strong support among conservatives, including Trumps own base for a DACA deal that would increase border security and also protect Dreamers.”
Stan Lockhart is former chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He argues Dreamers, through no fault of their own, are trapped with a status that limits their progression in America.
“I think what we find with these poll results is that Republicans understand that these kids are just like their own kids,” Lockhard said. “They’re seeking the American dream and they deserve a chance at getting it just like our kids do.”
Immigration reform is not something that can be changed on a state level, according to the state senator. Weiler hopes these new numbers will convince Congress to act and make a much needed change.