President Donald Trump said he will dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, an Obama-era initiative that allowed young people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children to work legally in the U.S., shielding them from deportation. Winding down the program could put the immigrants at risk of being sent back to the countries of their birth. The administration says Congress has six months to come up with a fix.
Tech companies have pushed back against efforts to curb immigration, which they see as vital to their industry. Immigrants make up about one-quarter of the U.S. technology and science workforce, and many in Silicon Valley feel a personal connection to the issue.
On Tuesday, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said in a blog post that Congress should “move quickly with new legislation to protect these 800,000 Dreamers,” using a popular term for the young immigrants. Notably, Smith explicitly urged that immigration legislation take precedence over tax reform, another big legislative priority for corporate America.
Microsoft will also help affected employees with attorneys, amicus briefs and, when appropriate, direct legal intervention. “If Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side,” Smith wrote. He said there are 39 affected employees that the company knows of.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the decision “a sad day for our