The Real Estate Roundtable on October 4 joined an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), to emphasize the critical need for foreign-born workers to fill labor shortages in construction, hospitality, building maintenance, and other real estate sector jobs.
- The case, Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, concerns the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented young adults brought to the U.S. as children – the “Dreamers” – to apply for work permits and protection from deportation.
- The Obama Administration established DACA in 2012. In 2017, the Trump Administration announced its own directive to end the program – thus priming the matter for SCOTUS’s review.
- The Roundtable’s amicus brief, led by the National Association of Home Builders, also includes the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, representing members concerned with the shortages of lesser-skilled labor in the U.S. workforce. The brief states, “DACA-eligible immigrants are a crucial component” of real estate jobs, as 41% of them work in industries represented by the amici.
- The brief also explains that foreign-born workers generally are essential to fill labor shortages that constrain the productivity of the real estate workforce. Foreign-born labor accounts for:
- Close to 25% of construction workers, a percentage that has been rising since the Great Recession;
- An estimated 31% of hotel and lodging, and 22% of restaurant workers;
- As much as 25% of workers providing hands-on care to the elderly and people with disabilities; and
- Over 35% of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations.
- The case has attracted numerous other briefs. One brief in support of DACA was filed by a consortium of 140 companies and 18 business associations representing a broad array of industries, including retail, tech, tourism and communications. (The Hill, Oct. 4)
- The consortium brief included participants such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and numerous Silicon Valley firms. “By expanding the opportunities available to DACA recipients, this program has benefitted America’s companies, our Nation’s economy, and all Americans,” their brief says.
Other stakeholders filing briefs to support the DACA program include Apple, Microsoft and the government of Mexico. (CNBC’s Closing Bell, Oct. 2 and The Hill, Oct. 4). Oral argument is scheduled for Nov. 12 and a decision is expected by summer. (ScotusBlog, Sept. 10)
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