We celebrate today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allows nearly 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. without documents as children to continue to live and work in this country without fear of deportation.
These Dreamers are as tightly woven into the fabric of our society, our communities and our economy as any documented citizen, and this is an important step toward safeguarding their futures.
But it’s just the beginning – we urge Congress to pass permanent legislative protection for them without delay. Opening our doors to people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives can only make our company better and our communities stronger.
From a business standpoint, studies show that diverse companies outperform homogenous companies every time – and the collective outcry for racial justice sweeping the country right now has thrown into stark relief for all of us just how much more work we have to do to put that lesson into practice.
We have done some difficult soul searching as a company to ask ourselves if we are doing enough, and challenge ourselves to do better. And we are challenging our government to take a similarly unflinching look at whether the policies around immigration are fully living up to our values as a country that has long been a refuge for those seeking sanctuary and a better life.
Our call to protect the Dreamers, and pass comprehensive immigration reform, is rooted in more than good business sense. We are a company founded by an immigrant in a country built on immigration, and we are proud to be part of both. Turning our backs on those who are most vulnerable goes against everything that we are, as a country and a company.
That’s why Levi Strauss & Co. joined a number of amicus briefs urging the courts to prevent DACA from being rescinded without a solution in place, and joined other business leaders in calling for the passage of the DREAM Act. Through company and Levi Strauss Foundation grants, we also support organizations like Define American, United We Dream, the National Immigration Law Center and UndocuBlack that are organizing impacted communities and striving for policy, narrative and culture change.
We must find a permanent solution to address the millions of undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S. that recognizes the contributions they are making to our economy and society and treats them with the dignity and respect they deserve.