Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that the DACA policy is being brought to an end.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to live, work, and study in the country without fear of deportation. Those already covered under DACA, with a work authorization that’s set to expire before that date, have until October 5, 2017, to apply and obtain a two-year renewal.
Sessions gave Congress six months to act before anyone loses the privilege to live in the United States.
While a large number of the actions taken by President Trump have received major criticism, this move in particular drew immense opposition from the tech industry. This is because a change in the DACA policy directly affects a good number of Silicon Valley employees.
Many tech leaders have expressed their disapproval and disappointment with the decision and their support for DACA covered employees openly.
“This is a sad day for our country. The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it. It’s time for Congress to act to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or another legislative solution that gives Dreamers a pathway to citizenship,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
IBM, Box, and Google executives also spoke in support of Dreamers:
Microsoft President Brad Smith said President Trump’s decision to end the program is “a big step back for our entire country.” The company said it knows of 39 employees covered by the protection.
“If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel,” he wrote. Smith said the company will also explore whether it can intervene directly in any such case. “In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side,” Smith said.
Twitter’s official policy arm noted its support of a letter from FWD.us. FWS.us is a group that advocates for immigration reform and was co-founded by technology executives including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
The letter reads, “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.”
Other executives who signed the letter include: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, HP CEO Dion Weisler, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, Salesforce boss Marc Benioff, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, top executives from Uber, Lyft and Tesla, as well as GM CEO Mary Barra and CEOs across other industries, like Arne Sorenson of Marriott.
With a strong opposing force against the ruling to depose DACA, one can only hope that the Trump government rethinks its decision that affects the lives of hundreds of immigrants.