At Thoughtworks, we are constantly looking for talented workers to continue building world-class software and serving our clients. A child of an immigrant founded Thoughtworks more than 20 years ago and we believe that immigrants have had a huge role to play in our growth. This is why we deeply believe that the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA), a program created by President Obama in 2014 to protect parents of US citizens and permanent residents from deportation, should come into effect.
In March 2016, we officially signed onto an Amicus Briefto the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the program because we believe millions of immigrant families should finally live free from the fear of deportation. DAPA will help us to live up to the legacy of our country—we cannot and should not stand for an immigration system that pushes millions of children and adults into the shadows.
The implementation of DAPA will have a positive economic impact as well. The contribution of immigrants to the GDP is estimated to increase by $230 billion in the next ten years. Subsequently, this increase would lead to a growth in income of $124 billion for all Americans over that same period. Not just that, companies like Thoughtworks that operate in several countries will benefit from the diverse languages spoken by the children of undocumented immigrants. Their multi-cultural perspective is an important asset that will benefit companies across all sectors of the American economy.
Perhaps one of the most significant ways DAPA can benefit the software and technology sector in the United States is by allowing children to grow up without having to assume the responsibilities of adults. Children of undocumented immigrants have to fear everyday that their parents may be gone when they arrive home from school, causing them to live in fear of losing their parents to deportation and detention. Thousands of children are in the foster care system because their parents have been deported; these children were orphaned by the inhumane immigration system. A study done in Los Angeles has shown that even very young children show anxiety, fear, and shame that is associated with the status of their parents. Social issues impacting children may hurt their performance in school. Failure in school as a result of these stressors prevents talented young people from becoming the professionals that our businesses need to hire. DAPA can help the US continue its tradition of innovation and keep American companies competitive in the global marketplace.
Thoughtworkers come from 100 countries and all walks of life and give us a unique perspective on issues like DAPA. A moving example of this is the story of Rebecca Abara, a fellow Thoughtworker who grew up as a child of immigrants in the United States. Rebecca’s story has been published by the Huffington Post, and is a key example of why policies like DAPA should stand and be expanded. Please read, share, and stand with us as we support families like Rebecca’s.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.