Silicon Valley has been very critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. This time DACA is the subject. Over 800,000 people who were brought to the US illegally as children stand to see themselves forced out of the only country most of them have known. This will occur over the coming six months. The Administration has turned the matter over to Congress to come up with new legislation by March 5th, 2018.
This morning Tim Cook sent out a letter to 250 Apple employees affected by the Trump administration’s decision to phase out DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals). Apple has offered to work with Congress and serve as an advocate in the process of coming up with a legislative solution. The company is also providing support for those affected by this decision and the company is also providing access to experts on immigration.
Tim Cook’s Letter
America promises all its people the opportunity to achieve their dreams through hard work and perseverance. At Apple, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating products that empower those dreams. And at our best, we aspire to be part of the promise that defines America.
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced that President Trump will cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months if Congress does not act to make the program permanent.
I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans — including more than 250 of our Apple coworkers — may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home.
DACA recognizes that people who arrived in the United States as children should not be punished for being here illegally. It lets these Americans, who have successfully completed rigorous background investigations, go to school, earn a living, support their families, pay taxes and work toward achieving their dreams like the rest of us. They are called Dreamers, and regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals.
I’ve received several notes over the weekend from Dreamers within Apple. Some told me they came to the U.S. as young as two years old, while others recounted they don’t even remember a time they were not in this country.
Dreamers who work at Apple may have been born in Canada or Mexico, Kenya or Mongolia, but America is the only home they’ve ever known. They grew up in our cities and towns, and hold degrees from colleges across the country. They now work for Apple in 28 states.
They help customers in our retail stores. They engineer the products people love and they’re building Apple’s future as part of our R&D teams. They contribute to our company, our economy and our communities just as much as you and I do. Their dreams are our dreams.
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.
On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake; on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again.
Despite this setback for our nation, I’m confident that American values will prevail and we will continue our tradition of welcoming immigrants from all nations. I’ll do whatever I can to assure this outcome.
Microsoft’s President Brad Smith also voiced in a letter what his company would do:
“If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees. If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel. We will also file an amicus brief and explore whether we can directly intervene in any such case.”
Leaders of American Industry on DACA
In addition, hundreds of tech leaders signed a letter titled “Leaders of American Industry on DACA.” Signatures include Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Hewlett CEO Meg Whitman, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and more. The letter reads as follows.
“Since the country’s birth, America has been the land of opportunity – welcoming newcomers and giving them the chance to build families, careers, and businesses. In turn, our nation has been strengthened and fueled by the energy, drive, and passion of immigrants. As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are concerned about new developments in immigration policy that threaten the future of Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (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 Dreamers 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 President Trump to preserve the DACA program. We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act.”
Cupertinotimes stands with those in support of a humane solution that does not translate into deporting hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are highly talented, to countries they do not know. This is a bad decision ethically, morally and financially. If the justice department is hell bent on holding people to “the letter of the law” they should begin with those in Washington.