Silicon Valley denounces betrayal of 'Dreamers' (Update)

Immigrants and supporters demonstrate during a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in front of
Immigrants and supporters demonstrate during a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in front of the White House after the Trump administration indicated it would phase out the amnesty program
Silicon Valley titans including Apple, Facebook and Google on Tuesday condemned the dismantling of an amnesty program for young immigrants after President Donald Trump announced a phase-out of the "Dreamers" policy.

The reaction came swiftly after Trump announced a termination of the program protecting 800,000 people brought to the United States as minors from deportation.

"This is a sad day for our country," Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said in a post at the leading online social network, reacting to the decision on the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

"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."

Top executives from a growing list of technology firms called young people shielded by DACA friends and neighbors who have contributed to local communities and economies.

"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," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an email to employees obtained by AFP.

"They are called Dreamers, and regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals."

Fighting for Dreamers

Dreamers working at Apple include those born in Canada, Mexico, Kenya and Mongolia, with the US being the only home they have ever known, Cook said in the message.

He vowed that Apple would press Congress to come up with legislation protecting Dreamers, and provide employees protected by DACA with support including advice from immigration experts.

Microsoft meanwhile said it will work with other companies to "vigorously defend" the legal rights of all Dreamers.

If the US government tries to deport any of the 39 Dreamers working at Microsoft, the technology giant will provide them legal counsel along with seeking to directly intervene in court, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said in a blog post.

"We are deeply disappointed by the administration's decision today," Smith said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was among technology leaders swiftly condemning the Trump administration's decision to end a progra
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was among technology leaders swiftly condemning the Trump administration's decision to end a program protecting "Dreamers," those who immigrated to the United States illegally as children

"We believe this is a big step back for our entire country."

Dreams before taxes

Microsoft, Google and others called on Congress to make a priority of legislation protecting Dreamers.

"Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a tweet.

"This is their home. Congress needs to act now."

Legislation protecting Dreamers should be a priority ahead of even tax reform, which has been long sought by major US technology companies, Microsoft's Smith said.

Business Roundtable, a group of chiefs of major US firms, put out a statement opposing the elimination of DACA before a viable replacement is created.

Roundtable president Joshua Bolten said in a statement: "Failure to act would have a significant negative impact on businesses that rely on employees who are here and working lawfully."

The Trump administration said it was now up to Congress to draft new legislation to address the situation.

If lawmakers fail to agree on new legislation, those impacted would find themselves in the country illegally when their current permits expire.

Former president Barack Obama implemented the DACA program five years ago to help bring the children of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows of illegality, permitting them to study and work without fear.

DACA was based on sound public policy; wasn't challenged in court, and resulted in "individuals of good faith" becoming ingrained US communities and the economy, according to US Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Neil Bradley.

"To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country," Bradley said in a release calling for the Trump administration and Congress to implement a solution before the program expires.

Explore further

How DACA affects the health of America's children

© 2017 AFP

Citation: Silicon Valley denounces betrayal of 'Dreamers' (Update) (2017, September 5) retrieved 16 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Sep 05, 2017
Of course the do! Anything that hurts their bottom line is protested by them. I guess that's smart but whether they are on true moral ground or not makes no difference to them.

Sep 05, 2017
These people pay their taxes and contribute their work to our country.

We should start deporting fundies from flat states that start with vowels first: tax thieves. That would solve the problem a lot faster than a bunch of political moves to satisfy the Republicant Nazis.

Not that anyone would take them.

Sep 06, 2017
I have a idea lets show how dumb we are by labeling everybody we disagree with. We could call them names thereby sounding smart while at the same time not saying anything.

Sep 06, 2017
Personally I dislike people who hate foreigners. I think they're stupid. And should pay their taxes instead of whining and then taking government handouts. Don't drive on my roads, and don't use my electricity. I paid for it; you whined and got out of paying.

Slacker. There's a label for you.

Sep 06, 2017
"And freedom? Whoa, freedom, that's just some people talkin'
Your freedom is walkin' through this world all alone."

That's chickensxxt. Wake up and join society like the rest of the sane people. Pay your way. Slacker.

Sep 06, 2017
We need a paper about the sudden increase in number of nazis ,

Sep 06, 2017
We need a paper about the sudden increase in number of nazis ,

What about numbers for everybody we could label?
Gays, Racists, Blacks, Whites, nazis , Liberals, Bullshitters etc...

Sep 06, 2017
Noted you have no answer for not paying your taxes and using the infrastructure everyone else is paying for, including the people you want to kick out of the country. Frankly I'd rather have people here who pay their way than people who make up a million excuses for not doing so.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more