The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is joining a lobbying campaign spearheaded by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg that aims to give permanent legal status to so-called “Dreamers” — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. President Donald Trump says in March he will end a program that provides them temporary legal status.
Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, says the tech and business communities here want Maine’s congressional delegation to support a path to citizenship for all 800,000 people who might otherwise be deported.
“When we face a declining workforce because of the impact that the baby boomers have and the fact that they are retiring, it’s important for all of us to recognize that these are young people who have made their place in our country, who have contributed in a number of ways and it’s important that we try to retain them in our country for us, in our state,” he says.
The lobbying coalition includes a number of chambers of commerce from around Maine, tourism groups, businesses, private colleges and universities and FWD.us. The latter was created by prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, although some left after the group backed politicians who supported the Keystone XL oil pipeline.