September 14, 2017
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Wyoming
The recent announcement shifting the future of the DACA program to Congress threatens Wyoming with the loss of more young people— talented youth our state and municipalities have invested heavily in—and this at a time when the just published Wyoming ENDOW* report tells us that the state is rapidly losing workers in the prime of their working careers and that the population as a whole is aging.
According to news reports, one quarter of Wyoming’s approximately 600 DACA recipients are enrolled in postsecondary education and another third are high school students weighing options to further their education upon graduation. With the rescinding of DACA their futures will be shattered, effectively slamming the door to opportunity for these students and depriving the state of their contributions.
Leaving aside what is the right thing to do and beliefs on immigration, we can all agree that the dreamers did not know they were breaking the law when they entered the US as children. They should not be punished for something they didn’t intentionally do, and we should not have to suffer their loss.
Our Members of Congress now have the opportunity to emerge as moral leaders on this issue by getting behind and mustering support for passage of the bipartisan, bicameral Dream Act, which would offer much-needed relief and protection for DACA recipients. Please contact our MOCs and urge them to do not just the right thing but work for and vote for what is best for Wyoming—retaining the young and talented in whom we have already invested so much.
DEMOGRAPHIC FACTS FROM THE AUGUST 30, 2017 ENDOW* REPORT
“However, since 2013 the state has experienced three consecutive years of net out-migration directly coinciding with a dramatic downturn in employment opportunities in natural resource extraction industry. As a matter of fact, about 3,800 more residents left Wyoming than moved into the state between July 2015 and July 2016, resulting in a total population decline of 0.2 percent, the first total population decrease since 1990.”
“Otherwise, the aging process is always faster, such as during the period from July 2015 to July 2016 when Wyoming’s median age increased 0.3 years, one of the fastest in the country. Wyoming’s pace in population aging is expected to continue to accelerate for the next 20 years.”
*(Endow acronym represents “Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming.” Citing the need for a comprehensive approach to diversify the Wyoming economy, Governor Matt Mead announced in November 2016 that he is creating the ENDOW initiative. The initiative will coordinate and expand ongoing efforts across the state, as well as produce measurable results expanding the Wyoming economy.