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Biotechnology CEOs Urge the President to Reverse DACA Decision

Open letter from CEOs of Decibel Therapeutics and Ovid Therapeutics is endorsed by dozens of biotech leaders.

In an open letter to the President, the leaders of Decibel Therapeutics and Ovid Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OVID) called for the preservation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter, from Steven Holtzman, President and CEO of Decibel, and Jeremy Levin, Chairman and CEO of Ovid, has been endorsed by a growing number of biotechnology leaders who urged the President to reverse his decision on DACA, “which allows nearly 800,000 Dreamers the basic opportunity to work and study without the threat of deportation.”

The biotech CEOs cite that “more than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees. Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation. Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.”

The full text of the letter appears below, along with the numerous endorsers at the time of this writing.

September 5, 2017
To: President Donald J. Trump

CC: Speaker Paul Ryan; Leader Nancy Pelosi; Leader Mitch McConnell; and Leader Charles E. Schumer

As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are concerned about new developments in immigration policy that threaten the future of young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children. Today, you and Attorney General Sessions announced your decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We ask you to reconsider this decision.

The DACA program, which allows nearly 800,000 Dreamers the basic opportunity to work and study without the threat of deportation, is in jeopardy. All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes. More than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.

Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation. Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.

Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.

We call on you, President Trump, to reverse your decision and preserve the DACA program. We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or legislation that provides these young people raised in our country the permanent solution they deserve.

Signed,

Steven H. Holtzman, President and CEO, Decibel Therapeutics

Jeremy M. Levin, Chairman and CEO, Ovid Therapeutics

And those adding their endorsement via “Comment”

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