Tech companies resist loss of DACA program

Large technology companies such as Uber, Facebook and Microsoft have publicly spoken out about their disapproval of the Trump administration’s advancements to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Since his inauguration, President Donald J. Trump has made evident his intention to toughen immigration policy. Now that the time has come for the Obama-era program to expire, Trump has referred the matter to Congress, and backlash from well-known tech companies has been overwhelming, creating some apprehension over the possibility of abolishing the program altogether.

DACA is a program that allows 800,000 immigrants who came to America under the age of 16 with their parents to have certain rights. This means that without DACA, the immigrants who fall under this act, also known as “Dreamers,” would not be able to work and study in the United States without the fear of being deported.

In order to qualify, there are guidelines that “Dreamers” must meet. Immigrant minors must come to the United States before the age of 16, have received a high school diploma and general education certificate or be enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and have not been convicted of any felonies, misdemeanors or any other misconduct that could be classified as a threat to public safety.

“I don’t know if it’s in (tech companies’) best interest to get involved in politics because ultimately that could damage the company. Some customers may support what you believe, but on the flip side you could potentially lose customers who disagree,” said Dr. Chris McHorney, professor of political science and chair of the Department of History and Government.

Hundreds of CEOs of large tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Lyft, Twitter, Netflix and more signed a letter publicly displaying their support of Dreamers and equal economic opportunity for everyone.

The letter prompted other companies to use their platforms as a voice to speak out on what they feel is right. Companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Uber made statements about America being a land of opportunity, and they said that the government must save Dreamers for the sake of the economy and the American Dream.

In a statement, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft Brad Smith said the individuals protected by DACA are important to the U.S. workforce and should continue to be protected.

“Our country will also lose the tremendous talent of these individuals. DACA recipients bring a wide array of educational and professional backgrounds that enable them to contribute in crucial ways to our nation’s workforce.”

“As Christians, we are called to view all individuals as children of God. As I tell a lot of my classes, we are fortunate to be born in a country where we are afforded a lot of opportunities based on the fact that we are Americans,” McHorney said.

“ (The Dreamers) could have easily been born in a country where they did not have those opportunities, and now the government is going to potentially return them back to a country that they may not have even visited, may not even speak the language.”

This is not the first time tech companies have publicly spoken out against the president’s decisions regarding immigration. Many of the same companies opposed President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban, which limited many people, predominantly Muslim people, from countries that the president’s administration associated with terrorism.

Tech companies have a platform, and they do not miss their opportunity to use it. These businesses say that they will do anything in their power to protect all of their employees, even those who are undocumented or foreign born.

“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,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, in a Facebook post.

Originally crafted from major technology companies, additional groups are now joining alongside other businesses in standing up to defend Dreamers. By expanding the group of signatories to reach a grand total of nearly 800 companies, the effort to pressure Congress to construct a permanent solution for immigrants is being amplified by the reaction to this controversial issue.

“The president of the United States … presents himself as a man who is pro-life. If he is a good pro-lifer, he understands that the family is the cradle of life and you have to defend its unity,” said Pope Francis in a statement.

DACA supporters encourage companies to publicly support their decision to protect their immigrant workers. Supporters and Tech companies say Dreamers are highly qualified individuals who contribute to American society by maintaining steady jobs, paying taxes and attending universities and seek to protect these workers because they recognize their ambitions for the American Dream.

About Kylie Voda

Asst. Business & Tech Editor

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