Last week, tech companies reiterated their support for the U.S. immigration DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival), saying they would oppose president Donald Trump if he were to rescind the Obama administration-era order.
On Tuesday, the fight arrived as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Dream Act would be rescinded, with only intervention from Congress in the next six months left to save the concept for 800,000 people.
Industry leaders from Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and IBM, among others, are weighing in, pledging to support workers at their companies who could be affected by the DACA decision.
In a Facebook post, Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Tuesday “a sad day for our country,” describing the decision as “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.”
Zuckerberg co-founded FWD.us, which has been active in supporting DACA. He said that the organization, which penned an open letter to Trump last week on behalf of tech leaders including Zuckerberg, would continue to work on the issue. The list of those who signed on to the document is in the hundreds and includes founders, CEOs, partners and owners of companies including Amazon, AT&T, Best Buy, Microsoft, Netflix and Salesforce.
Google CEO Sundar Pinchai Tweeted:
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to employees, “I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans — including more than 250 of our Apple co-workers — may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home.”
Calling it a setback for the nation, Cook wrote: “I want to assure you that Apple will work with members of Congress from both parties to advocate for a legislative solution that provides permanent protections for all the Dreamers in our country. We are also working closely with each of our co-workers to provide them and their families the support they need, including the advice of immigration experts.”
Microsoft said it would work to protect its 39 employees affected by DACA. “If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel," wrote Microsoft president Brad Smith in a blog post. "In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side.”
TechNet, which describes itself as a bipartisan network representing tech CEOs and senior executives, also weighed in pledging support for DACA. TechNet president and CEO Linda Moore said in a written statement, “Ending DACA will be highly disruptive to the U.S. economy because of the impact on many young people currently working with legal work permits they acquired because of this program... There is a broad and bipartisan consensus that we should not punish children for the actions of their parents... The President’s action now makes it an urgent priority for Congress to turn its sympathy for these young people into a law that ends the uncertainty they face.”
However, it’s notable that there doesn’t appear to be a single major U.S. tech company or tech leader publicly voicing support for Trump’s decision.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.