Last year, I joined with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference to highlight the economic contributions of immigrants in Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles.  The event marked the release of a New American Economy (NAE) report on Los Angeles.

The report found that foreign-born residents comprise 43 percent of the employed labor force in L.A. County and they contributed more than $232 billion to L.A. County’s GDP in 2014. This contribution represented 35 percent of the County’s total GDP.

I am referring to this report today, because we are less than one month away from President Trump’s March 5 deadline for legislation to create a permanent way for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to continue their present and future contributions to our economy.

There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients across America and California has the largest share. As a result, our economy has the most to lose if employees and students who have DACA designation are sent back to the nations in which they were born. The economic damage to California represents billions and billions of dollars.

For the last decade, the Chamber has been very vocal about the need for comprehensive immigration reform to include DACA, H-1B visas for technical workers and H-2B visas for agricultural workers. If Congress acts immediately on DACA before the March 5 deadline, it would be a major step in the right direction.

From small businesses to entertainment, innovation, manufacturing, personal services and education, our economy is stronger because of immigrants. While DACA recipients are only a subset of our immigrant population, they are a very important subset that our businesses hired in good faith and our businesses need. Firing these employees will destroy thousands of lives and be a chaotic burden on our businesses.

Call your members of Congress today and urge them to vote for a clean Dream Act to ensure that DACA continues. It is the right thing to do for these individuals and the right thing to do for our businesses.