Tech executives urge Trump to protect Dreamers
Executives from many of the nationâs largest technology companies have called on President Trump and leaders of Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era policy that offers leniency to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.< p>In an open letter published late Thursday night, the executives assert that so-called DREAMers are critical to the future of American companies and that the nationâs economy stands to lose billions of dollars if their job security and residency status are revoked.
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âWith them, we grow and create jobs,â the letter states. âThey are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.â
FWD.us, an immigration reform group founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, orchestrated the letter. POLITICO first reported the letter Thursday afternoon.
POLITICO previously reported that top executives from Microsoft, Lyft and Uber had signed onto the letter. They were joined by hundreds of other business leaders, including the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Cisco, Amazon and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Trump pledged during the campaign to kill DACA, which allows hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to secure work permits and remain in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. But the president is said to be conflicted on the fate of the program, POLITICO reported earlier this week. A group of state attorneys general have said they will challenge DACA in court if Trump does not rescind the program by Sept. 5.
Zuckerberg posted a note on Facebook, also late Thursday, in support of dreamers. âThey understand all the opportunities they have and want nothing more than the chance to serve their country and their community. And Dreamers deserve that chance,â he wrote.â
Microsoft separately expressed concern on Thursday afternoon about the prospect of DACA being eliminated. The company said that at least 27 of its employees, including engineers, finance staffers and sales reps, rely on the program for work permission.
"These employees, along with other DREAMers, should continue to have the opportunity to make meani ngful contributions to our countryâs strength and prosperity," Smith wrote in a blog post.
Immigration is a hot-button topic for the tech industry, which relies heavily on foreign-born workers to fill engineering and other technical roles. Many of the industryâs top executives, including Zuckerberg, Appleâs Tim Cook, Googleâs Sundar Pichai and Amazonâs Jeff Bezos, criticized Trumpâs executive order earlier this year banning travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.
The DACA dustup is the latest point of tension with the tech sector, which has rejected Trump's stances on issues like climate change and transgender rights. A number of business executives, including from the tech industry, dropped out of Trump's business councils in reaction to Trump's statements on the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va.
At the same time, tech companies are trying to engage with the administration and Congress on issues like tax reform and net neutrality, which could have a direct impact on their future business plans. For that reason, companies must cautiously approach rifts with Republican leaders.Source: Google News